March 11, NY Times

ALBANY — Gov. Eliot Spitzer was a client of a high-end prostitution ring broken up last week by federal authorities, according to law enforcement officials, a development that threatened to end his career and turned the state’s political world upside down.

Mr. Spitzer’s involvement with the prostitution operation came to light in court papers filed last week, the officials said, as federal prosecutors charged four people with operating the service, Emperor’s Club V.I.P. Mr. Spitzer was caught on a federal wiretap discussing payments and arranging to meet a prostitute in a Washington hotel room last month. The affidavit, which did not identify Mr. Spitzer by name, indicated that he had used the prostitution service before, although it was not clear how often.

Mr. Spitzer, 48, appeared briefly with his wife at his Manhattan office to apologize, but did not specifically address any involvement with the ring. He said he needed to repair his relationship with his family and decide what was best for the state, but he declined to take questions, leaving after barely a minute.

“I have acted in a way that violates my obligations to my family and violates my, or any, sense of right and wrong,” the governor said. “I apologize first and most importantly to my family. I apologize to the public to whom I promised better.”

Read more this news quote

photo: Gov. Eliot Spitzer leaving with his wife, Silda, after making a statement to the news media on Monday (James Estrin/The New York Times)