ALBANY – Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s resignation on Tuesday marks the second time the New York CEO has stepped down under pressure.
Governor Eliot Spitzer, then 48, resigned in 2008 after being identified in federal documents as Client No.9 in a prostitution ring investigation, according to the New York Times. Federal officials said he spent tens of thousands of dollars on prostitutes for half a dozen meetings. Prosecutors said the investigation was triggered after the trail of money from Spitzer’s bank accounts raised a red flag.
Spitzer has never been charged. He resigned on March 12, 2008.
“I am deeply sorry that I did not live up to what was expected of me,” he said. “To all New Yorkers and to all who believed in what I was trying to stand up for, I sincerely apologize.”
The scandal rocked Albany. Spitzer had been Time magazine’s “Sheriff of Wall Street” and “Crusader of the Year” for his investigations targeting powerful CEOs and stock analysts who misled investors about the value of certain stocks.
As governor, he initially had strong public support for his vow to clean up Albany, which had been plagued by corruption scandals in the state legislature and the state comptroller’s office under Democrat Alan Hevesi .
At the time, Spitzer was facing additional investigations from then-Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo. The administration has been accused of ordering state police to follow the movements of Republican Senate Leader Joseph Bruno when he took the state helicopter to New York. Spitzer has never been charged, but members of his administration have faced ethics charges in the case which the tabloids have called “troopergate.”
Cuomo would use the surveys as part of his 2010 gubernatorial campaign, promising to make cleaning up Albany “the first job.”
Shortly after leaving the governor’s office, Spitzer divorced his wife, Silda, who had stood by his side during his resignation speech.
Also after Spitzer’s departure, he helped run his father’s Manhattan real estate development business. He runs this business today.
In 2013, Spitzer lost the Democratic primary for the Comptroller of New York City to Scott Stringer.