Federal prosecutors said Thursday that they will not bring criminal charges against Eliot Spitzer for his role in a prostitution scandal, removing a legal cloud that has surrounded the former New York governor since his epic downfall eight months ago.
U.S. Attorney Michael Garcia said investigators found no evidence that Spitzer or his office misused public or campaign funds for prostitution. Investigators found that Spitzer solicited high-priced call girls, but federal prosecutors typically do not prosecute clients of prostitution rings.
“In light of the policy of the Department of Justice with respect to prostitution offenses and the longstanding practice of this Office, as well as Mr. Spitzer's acceptance of responsibility for his conduct, we have concluded that the public interest would not be further advanced by filing criminal charges in this matter,” Garcia said in a statement.
A remorseful Spitzer issued a statement.
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“I appreciate the impartiality and thoroughness of the investigation by the U.S. Attorney's Office, and I acknowledge and accept responsibility for the conduct it disclosed,” he said. “I resigned my position as Governor because I recognized that conduct was unworthy of an elected official.”
Spitzer resigned in March after it was disclosed he was referred to in court papers as “Client-9,” who spent thousands of dollars on a call girl at a Washington, D.C., hotel.
Garcia said that Spitzer later revealed to investigators that on multiple occasions he arranged for women to travel to other states to engage in prostitution.
Four people pleaded guilty in recent months to running the prostitution operation that led to Spitzer's demise.
Michael Farkas, the lawyer one of the escort service's agents, blasted the decision not to prosecute Spitzer. His client, 36-year-old Tanya Hollander, pleaded guilty and admitted to helping run the ring.
“She still faces a jail sentence, while some other more infamous actors in this matter do not. It would be a sad injustice if that were to occur,” he said.