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March 12, 2008

Eliot Spitzer expected to resign, did

Eliot Spitzer, Exit, originally uploaded by Lindsay Beyerstein.

Eliot Spitzer is expected to resign in a few minutes.

I didn't realize when I took this picture last year that it was the last time I'd see Spitzer as governor.

Update: Spitzer has announced his resignation, effective Monday.

And so, the steamroller rolls off into the sunset...


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Eliot Spitzer just announced his resignation effective Monday.

He said that David Patterson wanted it to be on Monday to allow time for an orderly transition.

I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert ... Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed:
And on the pedestal these words appear:
"My name is Spitzer, king of kings:
Look on my works ye mighty and despair!"
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.

-- Percy Bysshe Shelley, with slight edit

NY Newsday seems to have the best explanation for how Eliot Spitzer got caught:

Spitzer last year had wanted to wire transfer more than $10,000 from his branch to what turned out to be the front for the prostitution ring, QAT Consulting Group, which also uses a number of other names, in New Jersey, the sources said.

But Spitzer had the money broken down into several smaller amounts of less than $10,000 each, apparently to avoid federal regulations requiring the reporting of the transfer of $10,000 or more, the sources said. The regulations are aim to help spot possible illegal business activities, such as fraud or drug deals.

Apparently, having second thoughts about even sending the total amount in this manner, Spitzer then asked that the bank take his name off the wires, the sources said.

Bank officials declined, however, saying that it was improper to do so and in any event, it was too late to do so, because the money already had been sent, the sources said. The bank, as is required by law, filed an SAR, or Suspicious Activity Report, with the Internal Revenue Service....

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