Soon-to-be-ex- Gov. Eliot Spitzer, with most of his family and pet dogs in tow, appeared to split town Saturday morning, destination unknown.
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At 10 a.m., with the help of his state trooper security detail, Spitzer, his wife Silda Wall Spitzer, the younger two of their three daughters and two family dogs climbed into a blue Chrysler Town and Country minivan outside the family’s Upper East Side high-rise home and drove away.

In 2006, Spitzer paid $4 million for a 160-acre property in upstate Columbia County to serve as a second home, but it was unknown if the family was headed there.

Earlier Saturday morning, the disgraced governor, wearing black sweatpants and a green hooded sweatshirt, stood in the lobby of the building on Fifth Avenue, near the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and waved goodbye to his eldest daughter, Elyssa, who left in a Lexus sedan apparently driven by family friends.

And still earlier, just after 7 a.m., he had emerged, crossed the broad avenue and entered Central Park for a quick walk with one of the family dogs. Upon his return, he ignored questions from a reporter.

The sightings of Spitzer — engulfed in a weeklong scandal over allegations about his use of high-priced prostitutes — were the first since Wednesday, when he left the apartment building for his office in midtown Manhattan, where he announced he would resign effective Monday.

Lt. Gov. David Paterson is to be sworn in Monday in Albany.

* BY PATRICK FALBY (Newsday/March 15, 2008)