New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer resigned in disgrace today even though he failed to cut a last-minute deal with federal prosecutors after getting caught in a call-girl scandal that turned “Mr. Clean” into “Client 9.”
In a statement issued after Mr. Spitzers resignation, U.S. Attorney Michael Garcia said there was no deal with the fallen governor.
“There is no agreement between this office and Governor Eliot Spitzer relating to his resignation or any other matter,” he said.
The governor held out for two days since the news broke on Monday, but fellow Democrats began to speak openly about his resignation, so, with his somber wife once again by his side, Mr. Spitzer announced his departure, effective Monday.
“In the past few days, Ive begun to atone for my private failings with my wife, Silda, my children and my entire family. The remorse I feel will always be with me,” he said in a Manhattan press conference packed with reporters.
“Over the course of my public life, I have insisted, I believe correctly, that people, regardless of their position or power, take responsibility for their conduct. I can and will ask no less of myself,” Mr. Spitzer said.
Lt. Gov. David Paterson will take over on Monday, becoming New Yorks first black governor. He also will be the states first legally blind governor and its first disabled governor since Franklin D. Roosevelt.
Mr. Paterson issued a statement in which he said he was saddened but would move forward.
“It is now time for Albany to get back to work as the people of this state expect from us,” he said.
Mr. Spitzer appeared ready to step down immediately after the news emerged Monday, but lawyers later advised him that he should remain in office as he negotiated with prosecutors over possible charges. Word emerged yesterday that his wife urged him to stay in office, but when an aide to the governor took a count of Democrats who would support the move, it became clear that he could not withstand an impeachment drive.
The governor offered a qualified apology today, saying: “I am deeply sorry I did not live up to what was expected of me.”
He also became wistful about leaving the post he had held for just 15 months, after winning in a landslide by promising to clean up New York politics.
“I look at my time as governor with a sense of what might have been, but I also know that as a public servant, I and the remarkable people with whom I worked have accomplished a great deal.”
He also grew philosophical, saying: “I go forward with the belief, as others have said, that as human beings our greatest glory consists not in never falling but in rising every time we fall.”
The governor, who worked as New Yorks attorney general for seven years, said he will next try to “heal myself and my family, then I will try once again, outside of politics, to serve the common good and to move toward the ideals and solutions which I believe can build a future of hope and opportunity for us and for our children.”View Entire Story
By Mark Mix
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