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Lt. Gov. Brian Benjamin was indicted by a federal grand jury for an alleged “scheme” of soliciting campaign donations in exchange for a grant when he was a state senator running for comptroller. Stefanik says the case is an example of problems in the “corrupt cesspool of Albany” and in Gov. Kathy Hochul’s administration.
“The corruption in the Hochul administration is showing. But just last week, Hochul chose to turn a blind eye to Benjamin’s criminal activity and stood by her handpicked choice for Lieutenant Governor among serious allegations of bribery and corruption,” Stefanik said in a statement posted to social media.
“New Yorkers deserve full accountability for Lt. Gov. Benjamin’s crimes and for Governor Hochul’s corrupt complicity,” Stefanik continued. “Benjamin should resign from office, and Governor Hochul must also be held accountable to New Yorkers.”
Lt. Gov. Brian Benjamin speaks during the 2022 state Democratic convention on Feb. 17, 2022, in New York City. (Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)
The indictment alleges that Benjamin intentionally hid his actions while he was being vetted for his current position. Prosecutors say he falsely stated that he had never “directly exercised” his authority as an official “concerning a matter of a donor [he] directly solicited.”
Hochul was asked about the arrest in a press briefing about Tuesday’s Brooklyn subway shooting. She said she would be releasing a statement “shortly.”