Spitzer officially resigns; Lt. Gov. David Paterson to take over March 17 | NevadaAppeal.com

Spitzer officially resigns; Lt. Gov. David Paterson to take over March 17

Associated Press Writers
New York Gov. Elliot Spitzer announces his resignation Wednesday, March 12, 2008, in his offices in New York City. Lt. Governor David Paterson will succeed him in office effective Monday, March 17. (AP Photo/Stephen Chernin)

NEW YORK ” Gov. Eliot Spitzer resigned in disgrace Wednesday after getting caught in a call-girl scandal that shattered his corruption-fighting, straight-arrow image, saying: “I cannot allow my private failings to disrupt the people’s work.”

Spitzer will be replaced by Lt. Gov. David Paterson, who becomes New York’s first black governor, effective Monday. Spitzer’s minute-long statement made no mention of whether he had reached a deal with federal prosecutors to avoid charges.

“I go forward with the belief as others have said that as human beings our greatest glory consists not in never falling but in rising every time we fall,” Spitzer said at a Manhattan news conference with his wife, Silda, at his side. He left without answering questions.

The scandal erupted Monday when allegations surfaced that the 48-year-old Spitzer spent thousands of dollars on a call girl at a swanky Washington hotel on the night before Valentine’s Day.

Spitzer was more composed than he was earlier in the week, when he apologized for an undisclosed personal failing and looked pale, drawn and glassy-eyed. His wife took deep breaths as hundreds of photos were taken at close range.