This just in from the New York Times:

Gov. Eliot Spitzer has been caught on a federal wiretap arranging to meet with a high-priced prostitute at a Washington hotel last month, according to a person briefed on the federal investigation.

The wiretap recording, made during an investigation of a prostitution ring called Emperors Club VIP, captured a man identified as Client 9 on a telephone call confirming plans to have a woman travel from New York to Washington, where he had reserved a room. The person briefed on the case identified Mr. Spitzer as Client 9.

The man described as Client 9 in court papers arranged to meet with a prostitute who was part of the ring, Emperors Club VIP, on the night of Feb. 13. Mr. Spitzer traveled to Washington that evening, according to a person told of his travel arrangements.

Classy guy, screwing around on his wife the night before Valentine’s day, eh?

Here’s a nice photo of the family man with his wife and three daughters:

elliot spitzer and family

(I found that photo on an adult webmaster board along with the cruel-but-funny caption: “Daddy’s been banging some prostitutes, girls, so let’s all go to church!”)

I’ll leave the detailed analysis to Susie Bright, who really enjoys tearing into the sexual hypocrisy of conservative old white male politicians (into which camp Spitzer, though a Democrat, surely falls, thanks to his reputation as an aggressive, even rabid, law-and-order prosecutor). I’ll just say there surely must be a special circle in hell for prosecutors who enjoy a particular vice while denouncing that same vice and sending people to jail for it:

Mr. Spitzer gained national attention when he served as attorney general with his relentless pursuit of Wall Street wrongdoing. As attorney general, he also had prosecuted at least two prostitution rings as head of the state’s organized crime task force.

In one such case in 2004, Mr. Spitzer spoke with revulsion and anger after announcing the arrest of 16 people for operating a high-end prostitution ring out of Staten Island.

“This was a sophisticated and lucrative operation with a multitiered management structure,” Mr. Spitzer said at the time. ?It was, however, nothing more than a prostitution ring.?

Update, courtesy Jay Leno: “In the governor’s defense, he was bringing prostitution to its knees… one woman at a time.”

Second update: Susie’s take, as anticipated.