Home NEW YORK New York Lt. Gov. Benjamin resigns after indictment in bribery scheme

New York Lt. Gov. Benjamin resigns after indictment in bribery scheme

NEW YORK, NY – New York Lt. Governor Brian Benjamin has resigned after he was arrested and indicted Tuesday in connection with a campaign finance scheme on charges including bribery and falsification of records.

“I have accepted Brian Benjamin’s resignation effective immediately”, Gov. Kathy Hochul said in a statement Tuesday evening. “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”.

Benjamin pleaded not guilty in federal court in Manhattan on Tuesday hours after he surrendered to authorities.  

“Public funds that support grants cannot be used as currency to boost a candidate’s fundraising,” Jocelyn Strauber, commissioner of the New York City Department of Investigation, said during a press conference announcing the charges. “Honesty on these issues is not negotiable.”

“This is a simple story of corruption”, said Damian Williams, U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, who filed Benjamin’s indictment.

The indictment accuses Benjamin of striking a corrupt bargain with a real estate developer, alleging he directed a $50,000 state grant to a nonprofit organization controlled by that real estate developer. In exchange, prosecutors allege Benjamin received tens of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from the developer. Those contributions were directed to both Benjamin’s state Senate campaign committee and campaign for New York City comptroller.