New York Lt. Gov. Brian Benjamin has been arrested in a federal corruption investigation, U.S. prosecutors say.
Benjamin faces charges of bribery, wire fraud and falsification of records, reports the Associated Press.
NY | New York Lt. Gov. Brian Benjamin resigned Tuesday in the wake of his arrest in a federal corruption investigation, creating a political crisis for Gov. Kathy Hochul seven months after she selected Benjamin as a partner to make a fresh start in an office already rocked by scandal.
Benjamin, a Democrat, was accused in an indictment of participating in a scheme to obtain campaign contributions from a real estate developer in exchange for Benjamin’s agreement to use his influence as a state senator to get a $50,000 grant of state funds for a nonprofit organization the developer controlled, says AP.
According to AP, facing charges including bribery, fraud, conspiracy and falsification of records, Benjamin pleaded not guilty Tuesday at an initial appearance in Manhattan federal court. He was released and bail was set at $250,000. The terms of his release call for his travel to be restricted and bar him from returning to the state capitol in Albany.
Brian A. Benjamin is an American politician and businessman who served as the lieutenant governor of New York from September 9, 2021, to April 12, 2022, after being appointed by New York Governor Kathy Hochul. He is a member of the Democratic Party.
Lt. Gov. Benjamin resigned after he surrendered to authorities to face campaign finance fraud-related charges in connection with a past campaign, Gov. Kathy Hochul announced.
“I have accepted Brian Benjamin’s resignation effective immediately. While the legal process plays out, it is clear to both of us that he cannot continue to serve as Lieutenant Governor. New Yorkers deserve absolute confidence in their government, and I will continue working every day to deliver for them,” Hochul said in a statement Tuesday afternoon.
Facing charges including bribery, fraud, conspiracy and falsification of records, Benjamin pleaded not guilty Tuesday at an initial appearance in Manhattan federal court. He was released and bail was set at $250,000.The lieutenant governor appeared in Manhattan federal court Tuesday afternoon, and left without talking to reporters.
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