By LAURA ITALIANO
Last Updated: 6:31 AM, July 21,
2013Posted: 12:21 AM, July 21, 2013Former Love Gov. Eliot Spitzer was so eager to do something in Palm Beach, Fla. — reportedly one of his favorite locations for secret hooker trysts — that he traveled there with his staff in February 2008 even after a big fund-raising event was canceled.
“He was the guest speaker at a gala that we had to cancel,” Palm Beach Democratic Party boss Wahid Mahmood told a local paper at the time, referring to a $100-a-plate, Feb. 29 fund-raiser for the local Democratic club.
“He still came,” Mahmood told the Palm Beach Post. “He was in a great mood.”
Spitzer’s fellow keynote speaker at the Palm Beach Convention Center that night was to have been Rep. Charles Rangel, who had to cancel, leading organizers to put the kibosh on the entire event.
NY Post: Tamara Beckwith
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Local Dems would accommodate Spitzer’s Palm Beach-or-bust inclinations by setting up an alternate event — a glad-handing reception at the Hilton Palm Beach Airport.
He also attended a State of Israel Bonds luncheon and fit in a few meets with donors, including philanthropist Howard Kessler before flying back home on state aircraft with his aides and security staff.
Spitzer’s state campaign filings showed he spent $667 for his room on Feb. 28 at the luxurious, beachfront Four Seasons Palm Beach.
Investigators have said that Spitzer met with prostitutes in Palm Beach, Dallas and Washington, DC, though they didn’t provide dates. They refuse to release details of the investigation into Spitzer’s estimated $100,000 in escort spending.
Prostitution charges against Spitzer were dropped, with the feds explaining he had stepped down from office and taken responsibility — and that they’d found “no evidence of misuse of public or campaign funds.”
But the Palm Beach trip is just the latest revelation to raise questions of whether the current candidate for city comptroller was arranging travel for the conveniences of his trysts.
Although a governor’s security is always on the public dime, his non-state business expenses must be paid for with campaign cash or out of pocket.
No one disputes that Spitzer, 54, paid out of his own pocket for his black-sock affairs with Ashley Dupré and others of her profession from the Emperor’s Club prostitution ring.
But as reported in The Post on Friday, Spitzer indeed knew how to mix business with pleasure on a taxpayer-funded trip.
Just two weeks before his trip to Palm Beach, he went through suspiciously great lengths to get himself a speaker’s slot at a hearing of the House Financial Services subcommittee on capital markets, insurance and government-sponsored enterprises, Fox Business Network senior correspondent Charles Gasparino wrote.
Just like for his DC trip, Spitzer arrived a day early for his Florida jaunt.
In DC, he also went through great lengths to arrange for his hookup with Dupré at his Mayflower Hotel room — taking two days to arrange her payment, hotel room and an Amtrak ticket, according to government documents.
“Eliot has long maintained that he never misused state or campaign funds for official or political trips,” Spitzer spokeswoman Lisa Linden said.
“These matters are ancient history.”
Additional reporting by Erica Landau