NEW YORK (AP) — As Gov. Eliot Spitzer faced mounting calls to resign amid a prostitution scandal, a law enforcement official said Tuesday that the governor first came under suspicion because of cash payments from several bank accounts to an account operated by a call-girl ring.
Spitzer was the initial target of the investigation and was tracked using court-ordered wiretaps that appear to have recorded him arranging for a prostitute to meet him at a Washington hotel in mid-February, the official said.
The official spoke to The Associated Press condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the investigation.
The scandal surrounding the man who built his political reputation on rooting out corruption stunned the state. Calls for Spitzer’s resignation began immediately and intensified Tuesday with the New York Daily News, New York Post and Newsday all demanding that he step down.
“Hit the road, John ... and make it quick!” read the headline of the Daily News editorial, while the Post called him “NY’s naked emperor.”
Spitzer retreated from public view Monday afternoon, when he appeared glassy-eyed with his shellshocked wife, Silda, at his side and apologized to his family and the public, but did not directly acknowledge any involvement with the prostitute.
“I have acted in a way that violates my obligations to my family and violates my — or any — sense of right and wrong,” he said. “I apologize to the public, whom I promised better.”
Spitzer allegedly paid for the call girl to take a train from New York to Washington — a move that opened the transaction up to federal prosecution because she crossed state lines. The governor has not been charged, and prosecutors would not comment on the case. A Spitzer spokesman said the governor has retained a large Manhattan law firm.