New York Lieutenant Governor Brian Benjamin, second-in-command in the state, today tendered his resignation after being arrested hours earlier and indicted on corruption charges by a federal prosecutor ‘s office, Governor Kathy Hochul reported .
“I have accepted the resignation of Brian Benjamin effective immediately,” he said in a statement, in what are Hochul’s first words after today’s arrest of the lieutenant governor and subsequent filing of charges.
Hochul has been attending to an attack that occurred on a city subway line in which a man shot inside a car, also injuring passengers waiting on the platform, with a balance of 10 gunshot wounds, of which five are in critical but stable condition, plus two dozen more people required hospitalization.
“As the legal process unfolds, it is clear that he cannot continue as lieutenant governor. New Yorkers deserve absolute confidence in their government,” he said in a statement.
Benjamin, 45, resigned after the federal prosecutor’s office for the southern district of New York in Manhattan presented him with five charges that include bribery, wire fraud and forgery of documents to which he pleaded not guilty.
The now defendant was released after paying 250,000 bail and left the court without comment.
The also former state senator, appointed to the position by Hochul last August, would be his ballot partner in the Democratic primaries in June to revalidate their positions as party candidates, ahead of the November elections.
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.