September 2nd, 2009
06:05 PM ET
5 years ago

Former New York governor Spitzer teaching at City College

Former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer is teaching an upper-level political science course at the City College of New York this fall.
Former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer is teaching an upper-level political science course at the City College of New York this fall.

NEW YORK (CNN) – Scandal-tarnished former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer has found an opportunity to reassert his authority - in the classroom.

Spitzer, who resigned in March 2008 in the wake of a federal investigation that revealed that he had used a prostitution service, is teaching an upper-level political science course at the City College of New York during the fall semester.

On Tuesday, Spitzer began instructing junior and senior undergraduate students on "Law and Public Policy" as an adjunct faculty member of the historic City College in Manhattan.

"We're thrilled about it," Mary Lou Edmondson, CCNY's vice president for communications and marketing told CNN. Edmondson said that the former governor's "practical experience" made him an attractive hire. "He certainly has unique experience in law and public policy and politics," she said.

The description for the course, which is being offered for the first time, says the semester will combine "theoretical inquiry into concepts that unite law and public policy, such as distributive justice, the operations of markets as mechanisms for allocation, and international integration, with [a] more practical focus on policy making, and, in particular, the role of courts in the policy process."

According to Edmondson, the class syllabus and reading list are still under development and will be left to Spitzer's discretion.

"Law and Public Policy" drew immediate interest, and was quickly registered to capacity of 24 students, Edmondson said. Spitzer will be compensated on the same pay scale as all adjuncts, who by union standards typically make $4,500 for a semester, she said.

The Spitzer family has long had close ties to CCNY.

The former governor's father, real estate baron Bernard Spitzer, graduated from the college in January 1943, and in recent years has contributed $25 million to the school. Earlier this year, City College's school of architecture was renamed the Anne and Bernard Spitzer School of Architecture.

Edmondson said that the younger Spitzer spoke at City College during his days as the state attorney general, and has maintained close ties with CCNY President Gregory Williams over the years.

So will this become a long-term post for the former governor? "I think it certainly depends on him and whether he enjoys it as much as he says he is looking forward to it," Edmondson said.

When prosecutors announced last November that they had found "no evidence of misuse of public or campaign funds" and would not be bringing criminal charges against the former New York governor in connection with the prostitution scandal, he initially worked out of the public eye, but in the ensuing months began writing about the global financial crisis for key publications.

Last December Spitzer became a columnist for online magazine Slate, joining the site as the contributor of a feature on government called "The Best Policy." The column was to appear every other week and explore policy solutions to current economic issues.

Although earlier this week the New York Post reported that Spitzer was gearing up for a political comeback, a close friend and onetime advisor of the former governor told CNN this was unlikely. Reached by phone, former senior advisor to the governor Lloyd Constantine said that no discussion of future political aspirations had come up in recent daily talks with his old boss.

Spitzer's March 2008 resignation came after officials revealed that he was among the patrons of the Emperors VIP Club prostitution ring - "Client 9," according to court papers. Federal filings detailed arrangements for a nearly two-and-a-half hour rendezvous between Client 9 and a prostitute identified as "Kristen" at the Mayflower hotel in Washington in February 2008.

Spitzer was first linked to the Emperors Club when IRS and FBI officials noticed suspicious transfers of larger sums of money between several of the governor's personal accounts, sources told CNN. Those sources said that red flags were raised when the money ended up in the bank accounts of shell companies linked to the prostitution ring.

Spitzer, a former state attorney general whose reputation as a scourge of white-collar crime propelled him to the governor's office in 2006 and who had approved an increase in the penalty for those patronizing prostitutes, publicly apologized for his "private failings." Two days after word of his involvement was reported, he stepped down as governor.

–CNN's Edmund DeMarche contributed to this report.


Filed under: Eliot Spitzer
soundoff (12 Responses)
  1. stripe

    All he knows about the law is how to break it.

    September 2, 2009 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  2. NClaw441

    Are you kidding me? Not a single mention of his party affiliation in the entire article? (Democrat– that explains it)

    September 2, 2009 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  3. Mark

    Who would every want to take a class he teaches? What a waste of college credit.

    September 2, 2009 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  4. Charlie

    another corrupt Republican!

    September 2, 2009 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  5. bozo the obama

    is hugh going to be his guest speaker ?

    September 2, 2009 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  6. Brian0901

    Before all you conservatives start crying foul just remember the man has a right to earn a living.

    September 2, 2009 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  7. jaye

    Just another republican liar, like Mark Sinford and Sarah Palin, and Cheney and Bush, et al.

    September 2, 2009 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  8. Beth

    Good! now he can join palin and go away!

    September 2, 2009 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  9. mike

    Teaching what?
    How to screw up hawkers?

    September 2, 2009 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  10. m smith

    so he got a job?? Isnt that a good thing?

    September 2, 2009 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  11. Grrr-awful-o

    That's funny. No mention that he's a democrat (like Rostinkowski, Traficant, Jefferson, etc.). If he was a republican it would have been a prominent point in this article I'm quite sure. Journalism is dead.

    September 2, 2009 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  12. Susan

    Great. A guy who can't even follow a law, moral or otherwise, teaching about it.

    September 2, 2009 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |