Published March 10, 2008
New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer is expected to submit his resignation to the New York General Assembly as early as Monday night after allegations surfaced earlier in the day that he is "Client 9," named in a federal prostitution case, sources told FOX News.
Four arrests were made last week in connection to the alleged high-dollar ring, known as the Emperors Club VIP. According to a law enforcement official, Spitzer was named in court papers as a client after being taped arranging a meeting with one of the prostitutes.
The New York Times reports that the governor's travel records show he was in Washington in mid-February. It also says one of the ring's clients arranged to meet with a prostitute during that time.
Spitzer did not mention his resignation in a brief appearance before reporters Monday, in which he apologized to his family.
"Over the past nine years — eight years as attorney general and one as governor — I have tried to uphold a vision of progressive politics that would rebuild New York and create opportunity for all. We sought to bring real change to New York and that will continue," Spitzer said with his wife at his side. The couple has three daughters.
"Today, I want to briefly address a private matter. I have acted in a way that violates my obligation to my family, and that violates my — or any sense of right and wrong. I apologize first, and most importantly, to my family. I apologize to the public, who I promised better.
"I do not believe that politics in the long run is about individuals, it is about ideas for the public good and doing what is best for the state of New York. But I am disappointed and failed to live up to the standard I expected of myself. I must now dedicate some time to regain the trust of my family. I will not be taking questions. Thank you very much. I will report back to you in short order. Thank you very much," Spitzer said.
Spitzer, a Democrat, scheduled the abrupt announcement from his office as news reports were breaking that the governor told staffers about his alleged involvement in the prostitution ring.
In the affidavit signed by FBI agent Kenneth Hosey, the high-priced agency was populated by very picky hookers. The complaint details how one prospective hooker refused to work for the company because it didn't pay enough and complained that a friend of hers had sex twice in an hour without getting dinner first.
In another wiretapped conversation outlined in the affidavit, Emperors Club employees complained about a hooker who had to leave appointments early to pick up her kids from school.
The club's Web site shows a fee schedule of $1,000 per hour for a three-diamond prostitute and $3,100 per hour for a seven-diamond prostitute. Members of the exclusive Icon Club could reach restricted areas of the Web site and schedule appointments with the highest prostitutes, whose fees started at $5,500 per hour, the press release reads.
The New York Sun reports that the investigation was run by U.S. attorneys who not only were probing individuals linked to the ring, but who are part of the federal public corruption unit that investigates wrongdoing by elected and unelected officials.
While this is the worst problem Spitzer has faced, his 14 months in office have been marred by problems, including an unpopular plan to grant driver's licenses to illegal immigrants and a plot by his aides to smear Spitzer's main Republican nemesis.
He had been expected to testify to the state Public Integrity Commission he had created to answer for his role in the scandal, in which his aides were accused of misusing state police to compile travel records to embarrass Senate Republican leader Joseph Bruno.
Spitzer had served two terms as attorney general where he pursued criminal and civil cases and cracked down on misconduct and conflicts of interests on Wall Street and in corporate America. He had previously been a prosecutor in the Manhattan District Attorney's Office, handling organized crime and white-collar crime cases.
Spitzer's popularity has sagged according to recent polls. A January 25 Marist College poll showed 56 percent of registered voters did not approve of Spitzer's job, and he only carried a 35 percent approval rating.