New York Governor Eliot Spitzer apologized to his family and to the public for a "private matter" on Monday but made no reference to a New York Times report that he may have been linked to a prostitution ring.
Spitzer, who built his reputation going after white-collar crime on Wall Street as the state's prosecutor and as governor vowed to clean up state politics, said nothing about possibly resigning. ( Reuters )
Fox News television, citing unnamed sources, said before Spitzer spoke that the governor was expected to resign.
Spitzer was caught on a federal wiretap arranging to meet with a prostitute at a Washington hotel last month, the Times reported on its Web site.
"I have acted in a way that violated the obligations to my family and that violates my - or any - sense of right and wrong. I apologize first, and most importantly, to my family. I apologize to the public whom I promised better," Spitzer told a packed room of reporters in New York City with his wife at his side.
"I am disappointed that I failed to live up to the standard that I expect of myself. I must now dedicate some time to regain the trust of my family," Spitzer added.
He did not take questions from reporters and Spitzer's aides declined to comment further.
As New York's state attorney general before being elected governor in November 2006, Spitzer was sometimes called the Sheriff of Wall Street for his prominent role in investigating financial cases.
A Democrat, he entered the governor's office promising ethical reform but soon battled with Republican leaders in the state Senate, slowing his agenda.
He has been married to Silda Wall Spitzer since 1987 and they have three daughters.
The New York Times, citing an administration official, reported that Spitzer had told his top administration officials he had been involved in a prostitution ring.
Shares of bond insurers fell on the news. Spitzer has been a crucial figure in helping the insurers raise more capital and keep their top credit ratings. The bond insurers, which guarantee more than $2.4 trillion of debt against default, have been scrambling to get capital as their expected payouts have been surging.