New York Times Report: Spitzer Involved In Prostitution Ring

NEW YORK (AP) – New York Governor Eliot Spitzer has apologized to his family and the public, without elaborating on reported links to a prostitution ring. This comes in response to a New York Times report that Spitzer told senior advisers of his involvement in the ring.

Spitzer, who is 48, is married and has three daughters. His wife stood at his side, her hands behind her back and her eyes cast downward, as he made the statement

Spitzer says he “acted in a way that violates my obligations to my family” and says he has to spend time with his family.

A law enforcement official told The Associated Press that Spitzer’s involvement in the prostitution ring was caught on a federal wiretap.

Officials arrested four people last week allegedly connected to a high-end operation called the Emperors Club VIP. Prosecutors say the defendants arranged connections between wealthy men and more than 50 prostitutes in New York, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, Miami, London and Paris. They say the most highly ranked prostitutes cost more than $5,000 an hour.

The 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.

Eliot Spitzer’s political legacy is one of rooting out corruption. In two terms as New York’s attorney general, Spitzer grabbed headlines with a series of criminal and civil cases involving misconduct and conflicts of interests on Wall Street and corporate America.

Those actions resulted in Time magazine naming him “Crusader of the Year.” The New York tabloids proclaimed him “Eliot Ness.”

In 2004, Spitzer was part of an investigation of a New York City-based escort service. Eighteen people were charged with promoting prostitution and related charges.

Before being elected attorney general, Spitzer specialized in prosecuting organized crime and white-collar crime cases for the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office.

Several problems have marred Spitzer’s time as governor, including a plan to grant driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants and a plot by his aides to smear Spitzer’s main Republican rival.

The prostitution allegations have caused Spitzer’s opponents to call for his resignation.

The Republican leader of New York’s state Assembly says Spitzer should resign “immediately.” James Tedisco says Spitzer has “disgraced his office and the entire state of New York.”

In neighboring New Jersey, Governor Jon Corzine says the accusations involving Spitzer “come as a complete shock” to him. He says they are “completely at odds” with the Eliot Spitzer he knows.

He and Spitzer, both Democrats, have worked closely together on several matters.

Corzine says Spitzer will have to “regain credibility” with his family and with the public.