SPITZER RESIGNS (Update)
Net gambling opponent resigns as New York governor
In a perhaps inevitable sequel to events earlier this week when he admitted involvement with a prostitute (see previous InfoPowa report) the governor of New York, Eliot Spitzer has resigned.
In his eight years as Attorney General for the state prior to becoming governor, Spitzer became a high profile crusader against organised crime, Wall Street irregularities and illegal sportsbetting, and was critical of prostitution rings which he has been accused of using. In online gambling he threatened action against e-cash processors like Paypal and Citibank, hampering the use of financial instruments such as credit cards.
Spitzer was quoted at the time as saying: "Americans now waste $4 billion a year on this pernicious form of gambling. With this agreement, we will cut off an unlimited line of credit that was a jackpot for illegal offshore casinos."
According to Newsday, Spitzer's current troubles started when he split up more than $10 000 he wanted to transfer to an organisation that turned out to be a front for the prostitution ring. The split was to circumvent Federal law that requires the reporting of any transfer of $10 000 or more.
He then tried to have his name taken off the wire transfers, which the bank involved refused to do on grounds that it would be improper. The bank reported the transactions as potentially suspicious activity, and the IRS launched an investigation, initially believing they would find that Spitzer was the victim of extortion or perhaps find an imposter.
Newsday claims the case was later handed to the FBI to investigate possible political corruption, but the FBI case linked the money transfers to the prostitution ring instead. Federal prosecutors charged four people operating the Emperors Club VIP last week, before the announcement of Spitzer's involvement.
When his involvement in the prostitution ring first came to light, Spitzer made a public apology for his conduct without ever mentioning the specifics of the scandal or giving any indication that he would resign.
Since then, officials across the state of New York have been calling for his resignation or for the governor to be impeached because of his actions. Spitzer finally announced his resignation, giving Lt. Governor Paterson, who takes over, time to make a smooth transition.
"Over the course of my public life, I have insisted, I believe correctly, that people, regardless of their position or power, take responsibility for their conduct. I can and will ask no less of myself," said Spitzer. "For this reason, I am resigning from the Office of Governor."