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New York Lieutenant Governor Brian Benjamin resigned Tuesday after being arrested hours earlier and indicted on corruption charges by federal prosecutors Gov. Kathy Hochul said.
“I have accepted Brian Benjamin’s resignation effective immediately,” she said in a statement following the lieutenant governor’s arrest today and subsequent indictment.
Benjamin, 45, resigned after the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York in Manhattan filed five charges against him, including bribery, fraud, and document falsification, to which he pleaded not guilty.
The now-defendant was released after posting a $250,000 bail and left the courthouse without making any comments.
The also former state senator, appointed to the post by Hochul last August, would have been her running mate in the June Democratic primary elections to revalidate their seats.
From 2019 through at least 2021, the defendant engaged in a scheme to obtain contributions, states the indictment from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, released during a press conference.
The charges stem from an investigation by the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the FBI when Benjamin was a state senator and allegedly engaged in a scheme to obtain campaign contributions from a real estate investor.
In return, he allegedly used his position of power to obtain a $50,000 grant of public funds for a non-profit organization controlled by the investor.
The investigation into Benjamin began after the FBI arrested his fundraiser, Gerald Migdol, in November and charged him with wire fraud.
According to the indictment, the lieutenant governor faces a minimum of five years in prison and a maximum of 20 years.