Gov. Eliot Spitzer, the crusading politician who built his career on rooting out corruption, apologized Monday after allegations surfaced that he paid thousands of dollars for a high-end call girl. He did not elaborate on the scandal, which drew calls for his resignation.
At a hastily called news conference, Spitzer stood next to his stone-faced wife and bit his lips, telling reporters: "I have acted in a way that violates my obligations to my family."
"I have disappointed and failed to live up to the standard I expected of myself," he said. "I must now dedicate some time to regain the trust of my family."
As he walked out, reporters shouted: "Will you resign?" He did not answer.
The New York Democrat's involvement in the ring was caught on a federal wiretap as part of an investigation opened in recent months, according to a law enforcement official who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because of the ongoing inquiry.
Four people allegedly connected to the ring, identified in court papers as the Emperors Club VIP, were arrested last week. The ring arranged connections between wealthy men and more than 50 prostitutes in New York, Washington, Los Angeles, Miami, London and Paris, prosecutors said.
According to the law enforcement official, Spitzer is the person identified in legal papers as "Client 9," who paid to bring the prostitute named "Kristen" from New York to Washington for a four-hour tryst at a hotel on Feb. 13.