Brian A. Benjamin, a former NY State Senator and now New York’s No. 2 official to Gov. Kathy Hochul, was charged with bribery, fraud and falsification of records while a state senator after a investigation by the FBI and US Attorney and NYC Dept. of Investigations
The NY Governor now must pick someone to replace Benjamin….
But his name will remain on the ballot for the June primaries and he actually can still remain Lt. Governor….
Not a good look for Holchul…..
(Andrew Cuomo did NOT sign up to run against Holchul, eh?)
Lt. Gov. Brian A. Benjamin of New York, the state’s second-in-command to Gov. Kathy Hochul, surrendered early Tuesday morning to face a federal indictment charging him with bribery, fraud and falsification of records in connection with a scheme to funnel illegal donations to a previous campaign.
The five-count indictment accused Mr. Benjamin of conspiring to direct state funds to a Harlem real estate investor in exchange for orchestrating thousands of dollars in illegal campaign contributions to Mr. Benjamin’s unsuccessful 2021 campaign for New York City comptroller.
“In so doing, Benjamin abused his authority as a New York State senator, engaging in a bribery scheme using public funds for his own corrupt purposes,” prosecutors charged in the indictment. The investor was arrested on federal charges in November.
The indictment — the result of an investigation by the F.B.I., U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York and the city’s Department of Investigation — also charged that Mr. Benjamin subsequently “engaged in a series of lies and deceptions to cover up the scheme,” including falsifying campaign donation forms, misleading New York City authorities and giving false information as part of a background check to become lieutenant governor last year….
Mr. Benjamin will almost certainly face pressure to resign from office. Even if he were to step down, he will likely remain on the ballot in June, when he faces two spirited primary challengers. Because Mr. Benjamin was designated as the Democratic Party’s nominee for lieutenant governor, his name can only be removed at this point if he were to move out of the state, die or seek another office.
Ms. Hochul selected Mr. Benjamin to be her lieutenant governorlast August, after the resignation of Mr. Cuomo elevated her to the governor’s mansion from that position. The decision was widely seen as a way for Ms. Hochul, a white moderate from Buffalo, to expand her appeal to nonwhite voters in New York City ahead of this year’s elections….
image…Cindy Schultz for The New York Times