New York State Lieutenant Governor Brian Benjamin was in front of a judge yesterday after he was arrested with federal charges involving campaign finance fraud.
This comes ahead of a New York primary that is scheduled for June 28th where current Governor Kathy Hochul and Benjamin were on the ballot together for the democratic primaries.
This comes just over 7 months after he was sworn into office to be the Lieutenant Governor. That role is the highest power in New York besides the Governor.
I never in a million years thought I would be standing here as the Lt. Governor of the State of New York,” Mr. Benjamin said when he was announced as Hochul’s pick at an August rally.
The alleged campaign finance scheme laid out in the five-count indictment involves Benjamin and a real estate developer identified as “CC1.”
“Benjamin allegedly directed a $50,000 state grant to a non-profit organization controlled by “CC1” and in exchange, Benjamin received tens of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from CC1,” Manhattan U.S. Attorney Damian Williams. said Tuesday.
Federal prosecutors are alleging that Mr. Benjamin used the funds for a failed election in New York City Comptroller while he was a state Senator. Prosecutors also allege he repeatedly lied about the situation before he was chosen as Lieutenant Governor.
Later in the day, Brian Benjamin did resign as New York’s Lieutenant Governor and Hochul did accept the resignation.
Due to the primaries being only 2 months away Benjamin’s name will be on the ballot which has caused some concern among Democrats that it may cause a historically blue state to flip red.