Scandal in NY: “Senior advisors” say Gov. Spitzer has admitted involvement in prostitution ring

Via the NYT:

ALBANY – Gov. Eliot Spitzer has informed his most senior administration officials that he had been involved in a prostitution ring, an administration official said this morning.

Mr. Spitzer, who was huddled with his top aides inside his Fifth Avenue apartment early this afternoon, had hours earlier abruptly canceled his scheduled public events for the day. He had scheduled an announcement for 2:15 this afternoon after inquiries from the Times. But his appearance was delayed by at least 45 minutes.

Mr. Spitzer, a first-term Democrat who pledged to bring ethics reform and end the often seamy ways of Albany, is married with three children.

Just last week, federal prosecutors arrested four people in connection with an expensive prostitution operation. Administration officials would not say that this was the ring with which the governor had become involved.

But a person with knowledge of the governor’s role said that the person believes the governor is one of the men identified as clients in court papers.

The governor’s travel records show that he was in Washington in mid-February. One of the clients described in court papers arranged to meet with a prostitute who was part of the ring, the Emperors Club VIP on the night of Feb. 13.

MM reports that Spitzer is expected to resign.

The last few months have not been good for Spitz. After opposition from just about everyone, in November he dropped his plan to issue driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants, and as the NYT article noted, “[t]he Albany County district attorney is set to issue in the coming days the results of his investigation into Mr. Spitzer’s first scandal, his aides’ involvement in an effort to tarnish Majority Leader Joseph L. Bruno, the state’s top Republican.”

Stay tuned …

Update 1 – 6:36 PM: Here’s Gov. Spitzer’s statement, where he was careful not to actually admit any legal wrongdoing (no doubt his speech was edited by his attorneys):

“Good afternoon.

“For 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.

“Today I want to briefly address a private matter. I have acted in a way that violates my obligations to my family and violates my, or any, sense of right and wrong. I apologize first and most importantly to my family. I apologize to the public, whom I promised better.

“I do not believe that politics in the long run is about individuals. It is about ideas, the public good, and doing what is best for the state of New York. But I have 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.”

Here’s video of his statement:

WCBS reports that “reliable sources” are saying Spitz could resign as early as this evening, with Lt. Gov. David Paterson being sworn in later in the evening.

Wonder how long it will take before someone on the left asserts this was a Bush conspiracy to bring down a Dem governor, especially considering the fact that his alleged involvement in the prostitution ring was discovered via wiretap?

The Smoking Gun has details the FBI affidavit on the investigation into the international prostitution ring, which mentions “Client-9” – who the NYT named in their story today as Gov. Spitzer.

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