Gov. Eliot Spitzer announced Wednesday that he is resigning, completing a spectacular fall from power for a politician whose once-promising career imploded amid allegations that he paid thousands of dollars for high-end prostitutes.
“I look at my time as governor with a sense of what might have been,” Spitzer said, with his expressionless wife Silda standing at his side. “There is much more to be done, and I cannot allow my private failings to disrupt the people’s work.”
Spitzer says his resignation is effective Monday. He will be replaced by Lt. Gov. David Paterson, who will become New York’s first black governor.
The scandal erupted two days ago when allegations surfaced that the 48-year-old Spitzer spent thousands of dollars on a call girl at a swanky Washington hotel on the night before Valentine’s Day.
Spitzer was more composed than he was at his appearance two days ago, when he looked pale, drawn and glassy-eyed. The couple stood quietly Wednesday, inches apart; they never touched as they entered or left the room.
His wife took deep breaths as hundreds of photos were taken at close range. Each of Spitzer’s words was accompanied by a rush of camera clicks.
“There is much more to be done, and I cannot allow my private failings to disrupt the people’s work,” he said.