MARCH 10, 2008
The governor who recently tried to give half a million illegal immigrants in his state driver’s licenses is resigning after getting caught on a federal wiretap arranging to meet with a prostitute from a high-end business recently busted by federal authorities.
A former state attorney general and rising star in Democratic circles, New York Governor Eliot Spitzer arranged to get services from the upscale Emperors Club VIP in Washington last month. Last week federal prosecutors unsealed a criminal complaint charging four people with operating the lucrative business which advertised as an escort service.
The Emperors Club employed more than 50 high-end prostitutes and charged up to $5,500 an hour for their services. Owners arranged connections between wealthy men and the prostitutes in New York, Washington D.C., Los Angeles, Miami, London and Paris.
Spitzer was recorded during the prostitution ring’s investigation and is identified as Client 9 on a telephone call confirming plans to have a prostitute travel from New York to Washington, where the governor had reserved the room.
At a press conference today, the disgraced governor stood with his wife and apologized for acting in a way that “violates my obligations to my family.” Spitzer has three teenage daughters. He went on to say that he has disappointed and failed to live up to the standard he expected of himself.
Ironically, Spitzer built his political reputation on eliminating corruption. During his two terms as New York’s attorney general, he became known for cracking down on misconduct and conflicts of interest on Wall Street. Before that he was a prosecutor in the Manhattan District Attorney’s office.
Last year Spitzer provoked national outrage with a plan to offer the state’s estimated 500,000 illegal immigrants driver’s licenses in direct violation of a 2005 federal law requiring proof of legal status in the U.S. to get state identification cards or licenses. Spitzer abandoned his controversial plan after Judicial Watch filed a lawsuit to block it.
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