Monday, March 10, 2008

Spitzer Linked to Prostitution Ring

Just breaking with press conference to follow.
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 early this afternoon, had hours earlier abruptly canceled his scheduled public events for the day. He is set to make an announcement about 2:15 this afternoon at his Manhattan office.

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.

He had a difficult first year in office, rocked by a mix of scandal and legislative setbacks. In recent weeks, however, Mr. Spitzer seemed to have rebounded, with his Democratic party poised to perhaps gain control of the state Senate for the first time in four decades.
His approval ratings have been in the tank for months. Depending on the severity of the news, this could well finish him off politically.

Then again, sex scandals seem to help Democrats, so who knows.
Mr. Spitzer gained national attention when he served as attorney general with his relentless pursuit of Wall Street wrongdoing. As attorney general, he also had prosecuted at least two prostitution rings as head of the state’s organized crime task force.

In one such case in 2004, Mr. Spitzer spoke with revulsion and anger after announcing the arrest of 16 people for operating a high-end prostitution ring out of Staten Island.

“”This was a sophisticated and lucrative operation with a multitiered management structure,” Mr. Spitzer said at the time. ”It was, however, nothing more than a prostitution ring.”
Update: Suitably Flip has From Troopergate To Shtupergate.

Hot Air: America’s worst governor linked to hookers?

Update II: The Times link is updated.
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.

Mr. Spitzer appeared on a CNBC television show at 7 a.m. the next morning. Later in the morning, he testified before a Congressional committee.

An affidavit filed in federal court in Manhattan in connection with that case lists six conversations between the man, identified as Client 9, and a booking agent for the Emperors Club.
Prediction: He'll say this causes great pain to his family, but it's a personal matter and it's none of our business.

He'll probably get a free pass since he has the D after his name.

More from on the prostitution ring from the NY Sun.

Recall David Vitter.
If such a black book does exist it could give rise to a scandal of the sort Washington was treated to last year, when an accused madam, Deborah Palfrey, made public the phone records connected to her escort service. A senator, David Vitter, a Republican of Louisiana, apologized for "a serious sin in my past" after his number was among those released.
Update III: More from Lawhawk.

Michelle Malkin links. Thanks!

All sorts of reaction via Memeorandum.

Sean Hannity just said he's expected to resign.

Smoking Gun link to the original prostitution ring bust, via Strata-Sphere.

Fox News reports he'll be indicted.

Update IV: Quickest press conference ever. And he didn't announce a resignation. Michele Malkin notes:
“I apologize to my family. I apologize to the public to whom I promised more…I must dedicate some time to regain the trust of my family”…No questions. No reference to the prostitution ring. No reference to resigning. No reference to indictment.
Update V: Likely to resign by early evening.


Joe Bruno's office is loving it.
A staffer in an office of a Republican state senator, whose leader, Joe Bruno, has clashed with Gov. Spitzer, described the scene in her office as one of joy: “My office is just loving this. It’s like a party, sans alcohol.”
Update VI: Sifting through the litany of disaster that was the Eliot Spitzer administration, I had to chuckle at this item from almost a year ago.

The original link now directs you to this page.

The In the News link makes no mention of current events.

Here's Spitzer talking on trash on a hatesite.

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