New York Lt. Gov. Brian Benjamin has resigned in the wake of his arrest in a federal corruption investigation, creating a political crisis for Gov. Kathy Hochul seven months after she selected Benjamin as a partner to make a fresh start in an office already rocked by scandal.
Hochul says Benjamin resigned Tuesday.
The U.S. Attorney’s office said Benjamin was arrested Tuesday on charges of bribery, honest services wire fraud, and falsification of records.
He was accused in an indictment of participating in a scheme to obtain campaign contributions from a real estate developer in exchange for Benjamin’s agreement to use his influence as a state senator to get a $50,000 grant of state funds for a nonprofit organization the developer controlled.
Benjamin pleaded not guilty Tuesday.
Benjamin, formerly a state senator from Harlem, had joined the administration of Gov. Kathy Hochul in September, chosen by her to fill her former job a couple of weeks after she stepped into the governorship.
Benjamin was the state’s second Black lieutenant governor. During his state Legislature career, the Democrat emphasized criminal justice reform and affordable housing.
Prior to being selected as the state’s new lieutenant governor, he unsuccessfully ran for the New York City comptroller in 2021.