More Scandal In NY As Lt. Gov. Resigns Following Arrest In Federal Investigation

New York Lieutenant Gov. Brian Benjamin was the victim of a scandal surrounding state government. After being arrested on corruption allegations, Brian Benjamin was forced to resign from his position.

Benjamin’s resignation creates problems for the New York Democrat Party and Gov. Kathy Hochul (D), just seven months into her term as Governor.

Hochul was Lt. The Governor of Andrew Cuomo (now-disgraced).

Benjamin, a Democrat as well, was accused of soliciting campaign donations for favors to a developer.

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His Day at Court

Brian Benjamin, who was charged with fraud, bribery and falsification, pleaded not guilty Tuesday in Manhattan Courtroom. He was also released on $250,000 bail

Benjamin’s lawyers denied all charges, and stated that the grant under investigation was for school supplies.

“There was nothing inappropriate about this grant. He will focus his energies on explaining in court why his actions were laudable — not criminal. He looks forward to when this case is finished so he can rededicate himself to public service.”

The FBI’s Assistant Director of the New York field office said of the case, “Exploiting one’s official authority by allocating state funds as part of a bribe to procure donations to a political campaign and engaging in activity to cover up the bribe is illegal. As we allege today, Benjamin’s conduct in this scheme directly circumvents those procedures put in place to keep our systems fair.”

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A Dilemma For NY Democrats

Gov. Hochul issued another statement, which read:

“I have accepted Brian Benjamin’s resignation effective immediately. We both know that Brian Benjamin cannot serve another term as Lieutenant Governor. The legal process is still underway. New Yorkers deserve absolute confidence in their government, and I will continue working every day to deliver for them.”

Hochul was a former Lieutenant Governor and assumed the role of Governor following the resignation of Gov. Andrew Cuomo was accused of sexual harassment and resigned. Hochul selected Benjamin as the Lt. Gov. When Hochul assumed office.

The problem is, the election for the next term as the Empire state’s governor is in November, and Benjamin is on the ballot for the June 28 Democrat Primary.

Manhattan election law attorney Sarah Steiner says, “Right now, we’re looking at a situation where even if he resigns, he would be on the ballot and it would be very difficult but not impossible to get him off.”

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New York Governors: The Truth

Brian Benjamin, the latest New York politician accused of being a criminal is a continuation of that long-standing tradition. The most recent being Cuomo, but preceding Cuomo was the other “luv guv,” Eliot Spitzer, who resigned amid a prostitution and money laundering scandal.

Then David Paterson, who headed for the governor’s mansion exits due to allegations of witness tampering in the domestic abuse case of an employee, and improper solicitations of gifts.

Sheldon Silver was the former speaker of New York Assembly. He was arrested in federal corruption cases. Republican State Senate Majority leader Dean Skelos was convicted for extortion and wire fraud.

Fellow Lieutenant Governor candidate Ana Maria Archila said of the most recent scandal that, ‘Albany politicians have traded “favors for money” for too long.’