New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer -- a familiar figure to media companies from payola investigations and consent decrees he struck with a number of them as the state’s attorney general -- apologized Monday to his family and the public for violating their trust and his own sense of right and wrong, but he did not specifically address allegations by The New York Times that he was involved in a prostitution ring.
At a press conference, Spitzer said his unspecified actions had "violated my or any standards of right and wrong."
The statement was anticipated by the media for about one hour after the story was broken by The New York Times’ Web site, but when Spitzer finally faced the press, he caught many of them unprepared and it seemed that news organizations missed at least some of the video and audio.
In New York, local stations broke into afternoon programming to carry the story.
Spitzer won a landslide victory as governor in 2006 on a record of cleaning up the city. He pursued various music companies over charges that they paid for radio airplay, securing millions of dollars in settlements from Entercom Communications, BMG and Warner Music, among others. He also wound up subpoenaing broadcast groups.
As attorney general, Spitzer was publicly critical of the Federal Communications Commission for not cracking down on payola at the time he filed suit against Entercom in March 2006. FCC commissioner Jonathan Adelstein told the FCC at the time that it hadn't gotten a lot of evidence until it was able to go over Spitzer's "wealth of solid material."
Fox News Channel was reporting that the governor was indicted for his involvement in a prostitution ring (saying it confirmed the news with two sources) and was expected to turn in his resignation letter as of 7 p.m.
Spitzer did not resign at his seconds-long press conference, however, saying that he had to take time to mend his relationship with his family.