Next phase for NY after Spitzer scandal

Lt. Gov. Paterson will be sworn in as Governor on Monday, March 17
March 13, 2008 8:01:30 AM PDT
Governor Spitzer is resigning in disgrace as Lt. Governor David Paterson prepares to become New York State's next governor. To read the text from Spitzer's resignation statement, Click Here.

Eyewitness News reporter Lisa Colagrossi has more on Spitzer's fall and the governor to be.

It was brief and awkward with no sorted details -- in 2:20 Governor Eliot Spitzer's 14-year political career was over. Now the scene is being set for his replacement.

Spitzer announced his resignation from his New York City office just after 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday. He will be replaced by Lt. Gov. David Paterson, who will become New York's first black governor. To read more about Lt. Gov. Paterson, Click Here.

"I hope all of New York will join my prayers for my friend David Paterson as he embarks on his new mission," Gov. Spitzer said in resignation speech.

Lt. Governor David Paterson , a state legislator, Harlem native, and an Albany insider for 22 years.

On Monday he will take the oath of office as New York's 55th governor.

He will be the state's first African American governor -- the first in the nation to be legally blind.

It's all because Eliot Spitzer was caught a month ago, on a wiretap, buying two hours of sex at Washington's Mayflower Hotel.

"To every New Yorker, and to all those who believed in what tried to stand for, I sincerely apologize," said Spitzer. "I look at time as Governor with a sense of what might have been."

Spitzer quit, but not without a fight. His wife reportedly opposed his resignation.

And Spitzer seemed ready to fight on. He called Assembly Leader Sheldon Silver to see if there was any way to avoid an impeachment. But, Silver said democrats were lining up against the governor.

Spitzer had already lost the most crucial political battle of his life.

In his letter to state leaders -- Spitzer was terse:

"I am resigning my position as governor of the state of New York, he wrote, effective at 12 noon on Monday, March 17, 2008."

"At Lt. Gov. Paterson's request, the resignation will be effective monday, March 17, a date that he believes will permit an orderly transition," said Spitzer.

Spitzer is out of politics he says -- but he will return in some other form of public service once he has put things right with his family.

"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 towards the end of his speech.

According to federal prosecutors, there is no deal in place. They say the investigation into Eliot Spitzer is, very much open.