Gov. Spitzer Under Prostitution Probe

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[National News]


New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer is under investigation for allegedly meeting with a prostitute in a Washington hotel, two sources with knowledge of the investigation tell CNN.

One of the sources said Spitzer is identified in a criminal complaint as "Client-9," and that Spitzer's alleged involvement was caught on a federal wiretap.

The criminal complaint involved an alleged high-end prostitution ring run out of New York. Four individuals were charged last week with allegedly running it.

Prosecutors say the ring provided prostitutes costing as much as $3,100 an hour. The criminal complaint did not name any customers, but authorities did intercept text messages, e-mails and telephone calls.

Spitzer on Monday said he "acted in way that violates his obligation to his family," without elaborating or taking questions.

His statement came hours after the New York Times reported he told senior administration officials he had been involved in a prostitution ring.

"I apologize first and most importantly to my family. I apologize to the public, to whom I promised better," he said.
"I am disappointed that I failed to live up to the standard I expected of myself," he said.

Before the news conference, three Democratic sources told CNN that a top Spitzer aide had told them that the governor would resign. At the news conference, Spitzer declined to respond to questions as to whether he would step down.

"The governor called his senior staff together and told them he wanted to inform them first about a major announcement of a personal nature," a prominent New York Democrat told CNN.

"To say this is a shock is an understatement," said CNN senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin, who went to law school with Spitzer.

The Republican Governors Association has called on Spitzer to resign to "allow the people of New York to pursue honest leadership."

"The American people are tired of corrupt and hypocritical politicians. The governor of New York is just another in the long list of politicians that have failed their constituents," Nick Ayers, RGA executive Director, said in a statement.

Spitzer's office, the U.S. Attorney's office in New York and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg all declined to comment on Spitzer.

Spitzer, 48, served as New York's attorney general for eight years before being elected governor. Time magazine named him "Crusader of the Year" during his two terms as New York attorney general.

Tabloids labeled him "Eliot Ness," after the hero in the crime drama "The Untouchables," because of his reputation for rooting out corruption, busting white-collar criminals and tackling organized crime.

He was also known for prosecuting several prostitution rings.

He also worked as an assistant district attorney in Manhattan and worked for three New York law firms after receiving his law degree from Harvard.

The first-term Democrat had been considered a rising star among his party. Spitzer is married and has three daughters.

 


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