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New York Lt. Gov. Benjamin resigns after bribery conspiracy charges

Erin Doherty

New York Lt. Gov. Brian Benjamin resigned on Tuesday after he was arrested for campaign finance-related federal bribery conspiracy charges, Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) said in a statement.

What they’re saying: “While the legal process plays out, it is clear to both of us that he cannot continue to serve as Lieutenant Governor,” Hochul said.

  • Benjamin’s resignation is effective immediately, she added.

Details: Benjamin pleaded not guilty to the charges on Tuesday during a brief appearance in Manhattan federal court, Reuters reports.

Driving the news: federal indictment charges Benjamin with conspiring to funnel state funds to a Harlem real estate investor in exchange for illegal campaign contributions in 2021.

The big picture: The Harlem real estate investor, Gerald Migdol, was arrested in November on fraud and identity theft charges, according to the Times, the first to report on the arrest.

  • Prosecutors said Migdol directed thousands of dollars worth of fraudulent contributions to Benjamin in October 2019, one month after he filed to run for state comptroller.
  • Federal prosecutors and the FBI issued subpoenas in recent weeks to investigate Benjamin’s potential connection with the campaign finance scheme.
  • Benjamin was appointed lieutenant governor by Hochul in 2021. He previously served as a New York state senator.

Editor’s note: This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.


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