Criminal Justice

Spitzer Resigns, Cites his ‘Private Failings’

Updated: After a day of speculation about whether he would remain in office, New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer has announced his resignation effective Monday.

Spitzer apologized for his actions in a late-morning press conference and said he hopes to continue to work for the common good after he leaves office. He said he is leaving because he cannot allow his “private failings to disrupt the people’s work.”

“The remorse I feel will always be with me,” Spitzer said.

Spitzer did not specifically refer to allegations that he paid for high-priced prostitutes, the Staten Island Advance notes. Nor did he reveal whether he had reached a deal with prosecutors, the Associated Press reports.

But CNN reports that the U.S. attorney in New York says no deal has been reached.

New York Times coverage of the speech says Spitzer is the first governor of New York to resign from office since 1973.

Spitzer’s replacement is Lt. Gov. David Paterson, a graduate of Hofstra University School of Law. He is the first African-American and the first blind person to hold the job of lieutenant governor in the state.

A statement issued by Paterson said he is saddened by the recent events and he considers Spitzer and his wife to be close friends. “It is now time for Albany to get back to work,” he said.

Spitzer spent an agonizing day yesterday ensconced in his home as he decided how to respond to a New York Times report that he had paid for a prostitute employed by Emperors Club VIP. The club’s prostitutes were given rankings from one to seven diamonds and charged $1,000 to $5,000, an indictment against club officials alleges.

The investigation into Spitzer’s link to the prostitution ring began as part of a routine Internal Revenue Service investigation into suspicious transactions reported by banks.

Investigators believe Spitzer made three wire transfers of about $5,000 to Emperors Club VIP from personal bank accounts in the spring and summer of 2007, according to a Wall Street Journal story. They also believe he paid $4,300 cash for a Feb. 13 linkup with a prostitute in Washington, D.C.

But an Associated Press story says the total spent could be higher. It quotes an anonymous law enforcement official who said Spitzer may have spent as much as $80,000 on prostitutes employed by the club.

Updated to include references to AP and Staten Island reports on the resignation speech, the AP report of additional money spent on prostitutes, the CNN report that no deal has been reached, and New York Times coverage.

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