MercoPress, en Español

Montevideo, August 8th 2022 - 11:25 UTC

 

 

NY Lt. Gov. resigns due to involvement in campaign finance scheme

Wednesday, April 13th 2022 - 04:31 UTC
Full article
It was clear he could no longer serve as Lieutenant Governor, Hochul said It was clear he could no longer serve as Lieutenant Governor, Hochul said

Brian Benjamin Tuesday evening resigned his position of Lieutenant Governor of the State of New York, after he was indicted for allegedly attempting to trade a state grant for campaign contributions.

“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,” Governor Kathy Hochul said. “New Yorkers deserve absolute confidence in their government, and I will continue working every day to deliver for them,” she added.

The five corruption-related charges were filed by federal prosecutors in Manhattan. However, the Harlem politician’s name will likely remain on the ballot for the primary elections as the deadline for withdrawing his candidacy passed in February, it was reported.

Benjamin’s indictment presents Hochul’s Democratic opponents with a window to unseat her in the state’s June 28 primary, a contest the governor appeared to have largely sewn up after Attorney General Letitia James ended her campaign in December.

Prosecutors outlined their case against Benjamin during a press conference in Lower Manhattan, during which they explained that Benjamin allegedly used his power as a state Senator to arrange a US$ 50,000 grant for a non-profit organization run by a real estate developer in trade for campaign contributions.

“Taxpayer money for campaign contributions, a quid pro quo, this for that. That’s bribery, plain and simple,” said US Attorney Damian Williams.

On the other hand, Benjamin’s lawyers claimed that prosecutors had misconstrued Benjamin’s actions: “There has never been a federal case like this in America,” they said in a statement issued after he was released on bail.

Benjamin's legal team added that “Brian supported a US$ 50,000 grant to Friends of Public School Harlem. Every dollar was to buy supplies for public school students in Harlem” so “there was nothing inappropriate about this grant.”

”His actions were laudable—not criminal,” they insisted.

Categories: Politics, United States.

Top Comments

Disclaimer & comment rules

Commenting for this story is now closed.
If you have a Facebook account, become a fan and comment on our Facebook Page!