New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer has confirmed that he has been snared in a criminal investigation of a high-priced prostitution ring in Washington, D.C. Spitzer appears to have been “Client No. 9” in an investigation of the Emperors Club VIP, which hires out prostitutes for as much as $5,500 an hour. The question remains whether he will be indicted, which is more of a likelihood in high-profile cases. To make matters worse for Spitzer, he appears to have been caught on a wiretap.
The Times reported that a person with knowledge of the governor’s role believes the governor is identified as a client in court papers. Four people allegedly connected to a high-end prostitution ring called Emperors Club VIP were arrested last week.
The Web site of the Emperors Club VIP displays photographs of scantily clad women with their faces hidden, along with hourly rates depending on whether the prostitutes were rated with one diamond, the lowest ranking, or seven diamonds, the highest. The most highly ranked prostitutes cost $5,500 an hour, prosecutors said.
The New York Times reports:
The affidavit says that Client 9 met with the woman in hotel room 871 but does not identify the hotel. Mr. Spitzer stayed at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington on Feb. 13, according to a source who was told of his travel arrangements. Room 871 at the Mayflower Hotel that evening was registered under the another name.
In his brief statement today with his wife by his side, Spitzer was careful to avoid any incriminating statements beyond an apology:
“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.”
Of course, it is hardly a private matter when you are on a police wiretap and may be indicted.
Such scandals come with a certain seasonal regularity with notables like Dick Morris and others getting caught in the process. The most recent, discussed here and here, snared ranking state.
Louisiana Sen. Vitter was recently disclosed as a client of a local high-priced call girl service.