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Spitzer investigated for link to prostitution ring


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WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Federal prosecutors have unsealed an affidavit that details a rendezvous in a Washington hotel room last month between a prostitute and a client who a source tells CNN was New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer.


Gov. Eliot Spitzer, with his wife, Silda, by his side, apologizes to his family and to the public.

The affidavit does not mention Spitzer by name, but a source with knowledge of the case said the subject identified as Client-9 is the governor.

Spitzer took office in January 2007 after serving eight years as the state's attorney general, when he rose to national prominence as a hard-charging prosecutor.

He has not been charged.

Spitzer, who is married with three children, went before reporters Monday to confess to an undisclosed personal indiscretion, saying he had acted "in a way that violates my obligations to my family, that violates my or any sense of right and wrong."

He did not acknowledge the allegations, which were revealed Monday in The New York Times, nor did he take questions. Video Watch Spitzer's apology »

His alleged involvement with the ring was caught on a federal wiretap, the source said.

The prostitute, identified only as "Kristen" worked for the Emperors Club, which charged between $1,000 and $5,500 an hour and operated in New York; Los Angeles, California; Miami, Florida; London, England; and Paris, France, according to court papers.

According to the affidavit, defendant Temeka Rachelle Lewis -- who is accused of working as a booking agent for the club -- wrote a text message Monday, February 11, asking the operation's day-to-day organizer to "pls let me know if (Client-9's) 'package' arrives 2mrw. Appt wd be on Wed." Prosecutors say the message was a reference to a deposit.

On Tuesday, according to the affidavit, Lewis sent a message to Kristen, saying Client-9's deposit had not arrived but she should be able to "do the trip" if it arrived the next day. View a gallery of recent political sex scandals »

In a later conversation, Lewis and Kristen discussed when the prostitute could take a train from New York's Penn Station to Washington's Union Station, the affidavit says. Client-9 would be "paying for everything -- train tickets, cab fare from the hotel and back, mini bar or room service, travel time, and hotel."

The affidavit says that, about 5 p.m. Tuesday, February 12, Lewis spoke with Client-9 on the telephone and told him that his "package arrived today." The client asked Lewis whom he would be meeting and, when told it was Kristen, said, "Great, OK, wonderful."

The two discussed how the woman would get a key to his room for a Wednesday rendezvous and how they could arrange credit for future services.

"Client-9 asked Lewis to remind him what Kristen looked like and Lewis said that she was an American, petite, very pretty brunette, 5 feet 5 inches and 105 pounds," the affidavit reads.

In a call to Lewis, Client-9 was told the balance would be $2,712.41, but Lewis suggested he give Kristen $1,500 or $2,000 more so that he would have a credit.

According to the affidavit, Kristen called Lewis about 9:32 p.m. Wednesday, February 13, and told her she was in Client-9's room -- No. 871 -- at the Washington hotel.

Four minutes later, Client-9 was in the hotel, Lewis told Kristen in another call.

No more calls were logged until 12:02 a.m. Thursday -- Valentine's Day -- nearly 2½ hours later. At that time, Kristen told Lewis Client-9 had left and she had collected $4,300.

Lewis told the prostitute she'd been told that Client-9 "would ask you to do things that, like, you might not think are safe -- you know -- I mean that ... very basic things," the affidavit says.

Kristen told Lewis, "I have a way of dealing with that. ... I'd be like, listen dude, you really want the sex?"

"I don't think he's difficult," Kristen is quoted as saying. "I mean it's just kind of like ... whatever ... I'm here for a purpose. I know what my purpose is. I am not a ... moron, you know what I mean."

Spitzer, who built his career on rooting out public corruption as New York attorney general, became a national figure with a series of high-profile Wall Street investigations. He is also known for prosecuting prostitution rings. See a timeline of his life »

Now his lawyers may be questioned about how he paid for the alleged hotel encounter, whether the trail was concealed and whether any banking laws were circumvented as a result, the source said.

The investigation into the Emperor's Club, which began in October 2007, included evidence from a confidential source identified in court papers as a prostitute who worked at the club in 2006 and was given immunity.

It also included statements from an undercover officer who posed as a customer, more than 5,000 intercepted phone calls and text messages, more than 6,000 e-mails recovered with search warrants, bank records, travel and hotel records and physical surveillance.

Despite the high cost of the club's services, the job was not alluring to one potential employee, who sent an e-mail to the club's management January 28 after speaking to a friend who was working for the agency.

"I wasn't very happy to find out that it's only 500 ph + over 50% commission fees ... This is the kind of money I make very easily in photo shoots and the reason I wanted to join your site [was] to make an extra money."

She added: "The other think [sic] I was a little bit shock and confuse that she had a sex with him twice in an hour and without her taking her out for dinner before. ... So I am very sorry I don't think this is my kind of thing."

People who know Spitzer, 48, were surprised by the allegations.

"To say this is a shock is an understatement," said CNN senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin, who went to law school with Spitzer.

Toobin called Spitzer "the straightest arrow I know."

"I think there's no question if he is involved -- and I'm not saying he is, because we don't know all the facts -- I would say he'd have to resign," said James Tedisco, the Republican minority leader in the state Assembly.

Tedisco said that Spitzer's push to reform government "loses all validity if he was involved in something illegal like that."

The Republican Governors Association called on Spitzer, a Democrat, to resign to "allow the people of New York to pursue honest leadership."


"The American people are tired of corrupt and hypocritical politicians. The governor of New York is just another in the long list of politicians that have failed their constituents," said Nick Ayers, executive director of the Governors Association.

Spitzer's office, the U.S. Attorney's office in New York and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg all declined to comment.

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Well, I AM in NY and most of us think it's pretty stupid that someone who is obviously great for our city is leaving because he got his jollies off with a hooker. Doctors, Lawyers, Wall Streeters all do this and they don't lose their jobs. I don't know what this has to do with his job.

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Remember what Clinton went through? I am not judging him by any means - we all have skeletons in our closet.

Skeletons aren't criminal. Adultery isn't a crime in the U.S., except under the UCMJ.

Frequenting a prostitute is a crime. That's where Spitzer's situation is different.

Cops would definitely lose their jobs if they got caught doing crime. Beyond that, cops are generally held to "personal codes of conduct" which can lead to losing their job over a whole host of things, poor credit and debt among them. Firefighters and other city workers are frequently also held to a personal code of conduct.

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If it was anybody but Spitzer, no one would really care. But he is hated everywhere. He is a self-righteous anti-business busybody who walks around harassing everyone for the sake of his own political gain.

The worst of the worst. And so the country cheers while the hypocrite "client 9" goes down in flames. ::celebrate::

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Nobody's hit upon the actual reason yet. It's because it opens a high ranking official to blackmail and extortion which compromises the state. Doesn't matter what side or what party, he's gotta go.
Exactly. And he was known to be the witch hunter for all kinds of things whil attoeny general, including prositution rings. He has 0 credibility now.

I think he knows he has no option but to reisgn deep down, but he is such a politicial animal, that he's holing on to his last hope...:titanic:


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Like snorting coke? ::linedancers::

Hey, don't forget that Barry still got into office when he got caught with coke and prostitutes and that was on video tape.

I was watching the news last night and they said Spitzer spent like 80,000 on just prostitutes. Well hell, if he's putting out that much money I'll do a night for $80k ;)

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He has been in government for a number of years. Where does a government employee get $80,000 to spend on prostitutes? Yes, this is a serious question.

He also has to look at a violation of the Mann act. That is a law going back almost a 100 years that makes it illegal to take a person over state lines for the purpose of prostitution. It is a felony. They do prosecute people for that and those people do get prison time. I knew one guy who did that and got some serious prison time.

I can just see his wife going through the checkbook - "Honey, what is this check for $4200 for?"

For the life of me, I cannot see why anyone would go to a prostitute.

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See, that's just it. I think there is more to it than just what we know so far. Such as money laundering and links to others. I really liked Spitzer too-but it just goes to show you that things are not ever what they appear to be. I predict he is going down hard (pardon the pun) and will end up in the big bad Federal Prison.

Also-these guys just don't think they are bound to the same laws that they are elected to uphold.

Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. If this case doesn't prove that nothing could!

eta: I still think there is something fishier going on with the cash...

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The money laundering this is what got him nabbed. It was a big red flag when they saw the cash transactions. It was an even bigger red flag when they saw a public offical involved.

Spitzer built his career as an overzealous AG who would destroy reputations and open up criminal fishing inquiries. He is despised and for good reason. Everyone was a criminal unless Spitzer deemed you not to be.

Looks like today will be his last day in the power position. He'll trade his office for the guarantee of no criminal prosecution, which is more than fair. Bye-bye Spitzer. You won't be missed! :)++

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I disagree. I don't think trading the office for no-prosecution is fair at all. The office is all but gone already so what's the point? If he did the crime, he should do the time-unless he is going to cooperate with the prosecution and point fingers at others that are guilty-then he should get some consideration.

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I disagree. I don't think trading the office for no-prosecution is fair at all. The office is all but gone already so what's the point?
well, it depends on your view of the point of prosecution. If the deed cost him his job, then that is quite a price to pay. Besides, if he digs his heels in and does not step down, then the office is marred by a fight to remove him. Prosecuting someone for something as stupid as getting a hooker is probably not worth the price in this case. The guy has never had any other charge against him, so he'll be a first offender and given extreme leniency anyway.

He could also get disbarred, which would be another extreme punishment. I don't think we want to bury people for victimless crimes, and I'm inclined to think most prosecutors (unlike the way Spitzer treated people), would agree.

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The money laundering this is what got him nabbed. It was a big red flag when they saw the cash transactions.
Not sure if this points has been stressed...but...

It was his own money he moved from one account to another. The Patriot Act mandates that banks inform the Homeland Security cops whenever large amounts of money are moved from one account to another. It wasn't until they looked into where the money went from there that he got nabbed.

The point is...if you move $5,000 of your own money from savings to checking, Homeland Security is going to be notified. Be careful what you spend it on.

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