The "Sheriff of Wall Street" steps down after sex scandal revelations

Eliot Spitzer has announced his resignation as New York governor. This follows revelations that he had been a client of a prostitution ring.

The ambitious politician made a name for himself during his tenure as New York attorney general.

He made it his mission to uncover bad practices in the financial services industry. He took a number of insurers and insurance brokers to task over contingent commissions, bid rigging and price fixing.

As a result of these industry probes, Spitzer earned himself the nickname the "Sheriff of Wall Street".

The irony that a public figure, well known for his moral crusades, is now himself at the centre of scandal has not been lost on the press and public.

The New York Times – which originally broke the sex scandal story – has revealed that senior Spitzer aides are now trying to prevent an impeachment vote.

According to the newspaper's latest report, Spitzer apologised during his resignation speech.

“I am deeply sorry that I did not live up to what was expected of me,” he said. “To every New Yorker, and to all those who believed in what I tried to stand for, I sincerely apologise.”

“Over the course of my public life, I have insisted — I believe correctly — that people regardless of their position or power take responsibility for their conduct,” he added. “I can and will ask no less of myself. For this reason, I am resigning from the office of governor.”

Spitzer has also apologised to his family. In a statement on his website, he said:

“I have disappointed and failed to live up to the standard I expected of myself. I must now dedicate some time to regain the trust of my family.”