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Monday, July 8, 2013

Free From Prosecution Fear, Spitzer Running Now

Former New York State Governor Eliot Spitzer has now announced his bid for New York City Comptroller, and has approximately 84 hours from right now (noon Monday) to file 3,750 valid signatures from enrolled New York City Democrats in order to gain placement on the September 10th primary ballot for Comptroller.

But why is Spitzer reentering politics now?

It might be because the five-year statute of limitations on any federal crimes with which he could have been charged has now expired.

Spitzer resigned in March 2008 after his illicit -- and some argue, illegal -- activities involving prostitutes surfaced.  A range of possible federal crimes could have been charged -- and several people involved with the call-girl ring did in fact go to prison.  Those potential crimes and the related sordid details are not the focus of this report; just focus on the timing, because most federal crimes are subject to a five-year statute of limitations. This means that charges must be filed against a defendant within five years of their occurrence (with rare exceptions).  Therefore, if the last "overt act" in furtherance of a crime occurred in March 2008, the statute of limitations would have expired this past March.

Henceforth, Spitzer became "free" of criminal exposure this past spring.  Could his run this year -- as opposed to running for his old office in 2010 or U.S. Senate last year -- have been in contemplation of his new freedom from prosecution?

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