By Chris Francescani

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A former Manhattan madam who is running for New York City comptroller was arrested and charged with selling prescription pills for cash, FBI officials said on Tuesday.

In the latest twist to a scandal-hit city campaign season, officials announced the arrest of 38-year-old Kristin Davis, who is running for the post also sought by former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer.

Davis was arrested after selling prescription pills to a federal informant four times in four months, said George Venizelos, head of the Federal Bureau of Investigation's New York office.

Davis is charged with four counts of distributing and possessing with intent to distribute a controlled substance. Each count carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.

Her defense attorney, Daniel Hochheiser, did not immediately return a call for comment. She is expected to appear in Manhattan federal court on Tuesday.

Spitzer entered the race last month in an attempt at a political comeback after resigning as governor in 2008 amid a prostitution scandal in which Davis claimed to have provided the Democrat with prostitutes.

Davis, a Libertarian, entered the race before Spitzer - who will face Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer in a Democratic primary next month - declared his candidacy. She spent four months in jail for her role in the scandal.

Spitzer, 54, was never charged with any crimes.

He is not the only New York politician who is attempting this year to recover from scandal. Anthony Weiner, who resigned from Congress in 2011 after saying he had accidentally sent a lewd picture of himself over Twitter, in May launched a campaign for mayor.

Last week he publicly defied calls by major newspapers to drop out of the race after a website published racy text messages he had sent after that scandal.

(Corrects paragraphs two and seven to make clear that Spitzer will face a Democratic rival in a party primary)

(Reporting By Chris Francescani; Editing by Scott Malone)

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