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New York Lt. Gov. Brian Benjamin resigns after being arrested

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New York Lt. Gov. Brian Benjamin leaves the courthouse in New York.

New York Lt. Gov. Brian Benjamin leaves the courthouse in New York on Tuesday, April 12, 2022. Benjamin resigned Tuesday after he was arrested and indicted in an alleged bribery scheme.

Seth Wenig, Associated Press

New York Lt. Gov. Brian Benjamin resigned Tuesday after he was arrested and indicted in an alleged bribery scheme.

Driving the news: “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,” New York Gov. Kathy Hochul said in a statement released Tuesday.

Details: Benjamin was arrested and indicted on charges in connection to an alleged bribery scheme to obtain campaign contributions in exchange for securing a state grant, according to CNN.

  • The five-count indictment said Benjamin worked to move $50,000 in state funds to a New York real estate developer’s charity while he was a state senator.
  • In exchange, the developer decided to move “thousands of dollars in illegal campaign contributions” to Benjamin’s campaign to run for New York City comptroller and his Senate campaign, per The New York Times.

What they’re saying: “This is a simple story of corruption,” Damian Williams, the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, told reporters Tuesday, per CNN. “Taxpayer money for campaign contributions. Quid pro quo. This for that. That’s bribery, plain and simple.”

Worth noting: There’s no evidence that Hochul knew about Benjamin’s alleged criminal acts since it occurred when he was a state senator, per The New York Times.