MARCH 12, 2008
Amid impeachment threats, disgraced New York Governor Eliot Spitzer finally resigned today saying that he cannot allow his private failings to disrupt the people’s work.
The popular first-term Democratic governor spent thousands of dollars on high-end prostitutes and drew suspicions with unusual financial transactions to shell companies that served as fronts for the “escort” services. When the governor tried to break down a payment of $40,000 to avoid federal reporting rules, authorities launched an investigation.
It turns out that Spitzer, who served two terms as New York’s attorney general, has been hiring prostitutes for about a decade, according to one New York publication, and he has spent around $80,000 for rendezvous as far as Florida. His last reported encounter was last month at a Washington D.C. hotel with a petite brunette that got paid thousands of dollars.
Clients pay exorbitant prices for anonymity, according to an attorney representing one of the prostitutes who worked for Spitzer’s preferred service, the Emperors Club. “You’re paying for the girl to leave and forget,” the attorney said, adding that “that’s what $5,500 buys you.”
Spitzer got caught because he tried to hide the cash payments to the so-called escort service and bank officials contacted the Internal Revenue Service. During his resignation speech this afternoon the married father of three girls apologized for not living up to what was expected of him and said that the remorse he feels will always be with him.
His visibly devastated wife stood silently by his side at the podium. One newspaper columnist asked why Spitzer had to drag his wife, Silda, up there like some prop to be shamed and called the former governor a coward for doing it. The columnist, who called Spitzer’s resignation speech a weasel statement, also predicts that federal prosecutors won’t ever press charges. He’s probably right.
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