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Former governor Eliot Spitzer had a promising career until his frequent use of prostitutes was discovered, forcing him to resign.
In late 2007, suspicious banking transactions led to an investigation of Eliot Spitzer's administration. A wire tap eventually caught Spitzer agreeing to spend thousands of dollars on a high-end prostitute.
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A criminal complaint filed by prosecutors said Spitzer, identified as "Client 9," paid $4,300 to have a prostitute named "Kristen" brought from New York to Washington, where Spitzer was to address Congress. Spitzer allegedly used two rooms at the Mayflower Hotel, one for himself, the other for the prostitute, sneaking away from his security detail. "Kristen" was identified by The New York Times as 22-year-old Ashley Youmans,
now known as Ashley Alexandra Dupre. Described as a Jersey Shore girl who left a broken home at age 17 to work New York City nightclubs as a rhythm and blues singer, she declined comment when asked when she first met Spitzer and how many times they had been together.
The complaint also indicated that Spitzer used the prostitution ring's services before. A law enforcement official said that Spitzer had spent as much as $80,000 on Emperors Club VIP going back 10 years to his time as New York state attorney general.
The case against Spitzer started when his bank branch in Manhattan noticed frequent cash transfers from several accounts and tipped off the Internal Revenue Service. Spitzer allegedly transferred $10,000 dollars by breaking it into smaller amounts, and then asked the bank to remove his name from the transactions.
As the truth emerged, Spitzer apologized to his family and the public, but stopped short of resigning from office. "I have acted in a way that violates my obligations to my family, that violates my or any sense of right and wrong," he told reporters, with his wife Silda at his side. "I apologize first and most importantly to my family. I apologize to the public, whom I promised better," he said. "I must now dedicate some time to regain the trust of my family."
Spitzer began to feel the threat of impeachment, however, if he refused to quit. His resignation was effective on March 17, when Lieutenant Governor David Paterson became New York's first black governor—and the first legally blind one—in the U.S.
In December 2008, Spitzer began a cautious return to the limelight, writing a column about the economy for Slate magazine. In October 2010, Spitzer began co-hosting the primetime discussion show Parker Spitzer on CNN, with conservative journalist Kathleen Parker. After reports of infighting between the hosts, Parker left the show in February 2011. Renamed In the Arena, the show received poor ratings, but was seen by critics as contributing to the rehabilitation of the ex-governor's public image. On July 6, 2011, CNN announced it was canceling the show.
Spitzer married Silda Wall on October 17, 1987. She is a fellow Harvard Law graduate and founder of Children for Children, which helps children volunteer to benefit other children. The Spitzers have three teenage daughters.
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