More reports that Spitzer resignation will come soon

Multiple outlets say aides to the embattled governor of New York say he will resign, but his timing remains a mystery.

By Alex Koppelman
Published March 11, 2008 4:34PM (EDT)

Though New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer did not resign Monday, as some media outlets said he would, there are new reports that his time as governor will come to an end soon.

The New York Times, which broke the story that Spitzer was a client of a prostitution ring, says that Spitzer aides expect him to resign, "although the timing of the resignation remains uncertain." The Times also reports that Lt. Gov. David Paterson, who is in line to take over if Spitzer steps down, has begun to prepare for a transition and has contacted members of the state Legislature; at about noon on Tuesday, Paterson left his residence elsewhere in the state and was heading to Albany. CNN is reporting that a "top legislative staffer" says Spitzer is holding transition meetings.

And New York City's local NBC affiliate says that Spitzer aides -- as well as some of his Democratic colleagues -- have told the station that Spitzer has already drafted his resignation letter, but that he spent time on Monday trying to see if he would have any political support if he attempted to remain in office.

One prominent state Republican has said that if Spitzer does not resign within the next 48 hours, then New York Republican leaders will call for impeachment proceedings.

Update: As more reports come out on the story, some additional confusion has been added: The New York Sun reports on a top aide to Spitzer, Lloyd Constantine, who says the governor has not made up his mind about whether to resign. The Sun also quotes an unnamed "source close to the governor" who says that Spitzer would not resign until he came to an agreement with federal prosecutors about potential charges; "I don't think anything happens for a couple of weeks," the source said.

And the Times has been reporting on Lt. Gov. Paterson, who told the paper that he's waiting for word on Spitzer's next move. Paterson had not heard from the governor on Tuesday, but he told the Times, "The governor called me yesterday, he said he didn't resign for a number of reasons, and he didn't go into the reasons, and that's the last I've heard from him... No one has talked to me about his resignation and no one has talked to me about a transition."

ABC News is reporting that state officials have begun a preliminary inquiry into how Spitzer's security detail could have been aware of his alleged meetings with prostitutes. "ABC News has learned that Spitzer routinely tried to push off the one or two state police officers who accompanied him out of town, suggesting to the troopers that they didn't need to accompany him as he went to the gym or telling them he was going to turn in early," the network says. ABC has also reported that Spitzer had planned to resign at 7 p.m. Monday night, but changed his mind after advice from lawyers.

Multiple media outlets are now offering more information on the extent of Spitzer's alleged contact with prostitutes; Long Island newspaper Newsday says it was at least seven or eight encounters over the last several years, while New York City's NBC affiliate says Spitzer allegedly used the service for at least six months, paying more than $15,000 for "numerous meetings."

Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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