Monday, March 10, 2008

Spitzer Caught on Federal Wiretap in Prostitution Investigation

I joke that Attorney General (abbreviated AG) really meant "aspiring governor" and in teh case of New York's Eliot Spitzer, it was literally true. But as news and information related to Spitzer's idenfication as a client in a wiretap for a prostitution investigation comes to light, Spitzer's term as governor is now limited to the number of days left in his term, if he isn't indicted and resigns firts.

The former top law enforcement official for the state of New York, is looking at the wrong side of the law now.
Gov. Eliot Spitzer, accused in news reports of being involved in a prostitution ring, apologized to his family and the public on Monday at a hastily called news conference. He did not elaborate on the story.

With his wife at his side, Spitzer told reporters that he "acted in a way that violates my obligations to my family."

"I have disappointed and failed to live up to the standard I expected of myself," he said. "I must now dedicate some time to regain the trust of my family."

The New York Times reported earlier in the day that Spitzer told senior administration officials that he was linked to a prostitiution ring. The report cited an anonymous administration official.
While he may regain the trust of his family again, the voters of New York are certainly sizing up candidates to replace him and rightfully so. His administration has not exactly been an exemplar of the crusading Attorney General that created his victory.
Spitzer, 48, built his political reputation on rooting out corruption, including several headline-making battles with Wall Street while serving as attorney general. He stormed into the governor's office in 2006 with a historic share of the vote, vowing to continue his no- nonsense approach to fixing one of the nation's worst governments.

Time magazine had named him "Crusader of the Year" when he was attorney general and the tabloids proclaimed him "Eliot Ness."

But his stint as governor has been marred by several 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.

Spitzer 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.

His cases as state attorney general included a few criminal prosecutions of prostitution rings and into tourism involving prostitutes.

In 2004, he was part of an investigation of an escort service in New York City that resulted in the arrest of 18 people on charges of promoting prostitution and related charges.
Oh, the irony of it all.

Update: Missed this one, Spitzer may resign tonight.

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