Spitzer slams ‘bigotry’ over ex-Aide Butterfield charges

Image copyright AFP Former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer has blasted the state’s two top prosecutors for pursuing criminal charges against a former aide, saying “bigotry was whipped up”. Mr Spitzer’s comments came after…

Spitzer slams 'bigotry' over ex-Aide Butterfield charges

Image copyright AFP

Former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer has blasted the state's two top prosecutors for pursuing criminal charges against a former aide, saying "bigotry was whipped up".

Mr Spitzer's comments came after Mr Spitzer's former "right-hand man" Alexander Butterfield was indicted on bribery and tax fraud charges.

Mr Spitzer is already facing separate allegations of exploiting his office for personal gain.

Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has now been questioned by the FBI.

A spokesman for Mr Schneiderman has declined to comment.

'Constructive vibes'

In a Twitter post on Sunday, Mr Spitzer said: "We're hearing from members of our staff that the Attorney General's office was really working and you can sense the atmosphere of constructive vibes. That doesn't mean the criminal charges won't be hard, but it does indicate there's a good-faith, for the moment, effort to avoid a personal confrontation."

On Monday, Mr Spitzer said he expected the attorney general's office would have hired an investigation firm by the end of the week to look into his own conduct.

He has not commented on the "very serious" allegations, but said the latest charges against Mr Butterfield were "understandable".

In a separate report on Sunday, Andrew Cuomo, who is set to become governor in January, sought to distance himself from Mr Schneiderman and asked that the FBI take over the investigation.

In a TV interview, Mr Cuomo pointed out that he appointed Mr Schneiderman in 2010 and called him "a very strong attorney general".

Mr Schneiderman won the post in 2010, during Mr Spitzer's brief exit from politics.

He was re-elected in 2014, but has now been accused of physically abusing women.

He has denied the allegations.

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