NEW YORK — Federal prosecutors announced Thursday they will not bring criminal charges against Eliot Spitzer for his role in a prostitution scandal, removing a legal cloud that has surrounded the former governor since his epic downfall eight months ago.
Manhattan U.S. Attorney Michael Garcia said that investigators found no evidence that Mr. Spitzer or his office misused public or campaign funds for prostitution. Federal prosecutors typically do not prosecute clients of prostitution rings.
"In light of the policy of the Department of Justice with respect to prostitution offenses and the longstanding practice of this Office, as well as Mr. Spitzer's acceptance of responsibility for his conduct, we have concluded that the public interest would not be further advanced by filing criminal charges in this matter."
A remorseful Mr. Spitzer issued a statement in which he expressed relief that he will not face charges.
"I appreciate the impartiality and thoroughness of the investigation by the U.S. Attorney's Office, and I acknowledge and accept responsibility for the conduct it disclosed. I resigned my position as Governor because I recognized that conduct was unworthy of an elected official. I once again apologize for my actions," Mr. Spitzer said.
Mr. Spitzer was out of town and not available for further comment.
Mr. Spitzer, a Democrat, resigned March 12 after it was disclosed he was referred to in court papers as "Client-9," a man who met a prostitute known in a Washington, D.C., hotel.
Mr. Garcia said that Mr. Spitzer later revealed to investigators that on multiple occasions he arranged for women to travel from one state to another state to engage in prostitution.
The scandal ruined a promising political career for Mr. Spitzer, who won a landslide election in 2006 with a vow to clean up corruption. He has remained out of the spotlight since his shocking resignation, spending time with his wife and three daughters, working for his father's real estate business and occasionally being photographed running in Central Park.
Four people pleaded guilty in recent months to running the prostitution operation that led to Mr. Spitzer's professional demise.
Michael C. Farkas, the attorney for one of the escort service's booking agents, blasted the decision. His client, Tanya Hollander, 36, pleaded guilty and admitted to helping run the ring, and is scheduled to be sentenced later this month.
"She still faces a jail sentence, while some other more infamous actors in this matter do not. It would be a sad injustice if that were to occur," Mr. Farkas said.