New York (CNN) -- The ex-madam and political candidate who claimed she supplied former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer with escorts pleaded guilty Friday to pushing prescription drugs, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.
Kristin Davis, 38, who ran against Spitzer for the office of comptroller, admitted in Manhattan federal court to one count of "distributing and possessing with intent to distribute controlled substances, specifically alprazolam, zolpidem and carisoprodol," Preet Bharara, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, said in a statement.
Bharara said Davis illegally sold "hundreds of highly-addictive and dangerous prescription pills" and helped fuel "the fastest-growing drug problem in the country" and a "public health epidemic."
Davis faces up to 5 years in prison when she is sentenced July 25. Under the plea agreement, she also agreed to forfeit $1,765.
Her lawyer, Daniel Hochheiser, told CNN that he plans to ask for leniency.
"I'm hoping that she can remain at liberty so that she can pursue her new career and complete her current studies," he said. "She's going to school ... but at this point I just want to protect her privacy. It's more career-oriented ... to put herself in a position to gain new skills so she pursue a new career once this case is wrapped up."
Davis was arrested on the drug charges last August when she was running an unsuccessful campaign for comptroller against Spitzer. The former governor has denied using the services of the ex-madam.
Based on a tip from an FBI witness, agents set up a sting operation from January through March of 2013 and caught her pushing pills on three separate occasions to the witness, who she believed to be a drug dealer, prosecutors said.
Davis became synonymous with the prostitution scandal involving Spitzer, then serving as governor.
She never provided proof that she arranged escorts for Spitzer, but she did spend four months behind bars for running an escort firm. Spitzer, a Democrat, resigned in 2008. The former governor has denied using the services of the ex-madam.
A former hedge fund senior vice president, Davis ran as a Libertarian with a plan to legalize marijuana in New York City.