Lieutenant Governor Brian A. of New York. Benjamin, a second-in-command of the state to Governor Kathy Hochl, surrendered early Tuesday morning to face charges of conspiracy by the federal government in connection with a plan to make fraudulent donations to an earlier campaign. According to those who know the matter.
As a result of the investigation by the FBI and the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Mr. Harlem has filed a lawsuit against state real estate investor for arranging thousands of dollars in criminal and illegal campaign donations. Benjamin was accused of conspiracy. Mr. for New York City Mayor. People said Benjamin’s 2021 campaign was a failure. The investor was arrested on federal charges in November.
Legal confusion Mr. Benjamin’s political future is in question, and this year’s election will complicate matters for him and her. Mrs. who came to office last year. Ho Chi Minh and his predecessor Andrew Mr Cuomo resigned after several allegations of sexual misconduct.
Mr. Prosecutors say there is no indication that Ms. Hochsul was aware of Benjamin’s crimes, which happened when she was state senator. However, he took office last year, promising to end the unruly era in Albany. Benjamin, 45, was one of the first major decisions he made as governor.
Federal prosecutors and the FBI were expected to announce the charges later Tuesday, and Mr. Benjamin is scheduled to appear in United States District Court in Lower Manhattan on Tuesday afternoon.
Mr. The lawyer for Benjamin could not be reached immediately for comment.
Mr. Benjamin will be pressured to resign. Although he will step down, he will be on the ballot in June when he faces two exciting primary challenges. The Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor is Mr. Since Benjamin has been appointed, his name can only be removed at this point if he leaves the state, dies, or seeks another position.
Mr. Benjamin recently said he was cooperating with investigators, Who has provided saponas in recent weeks To the people who advised the state Senate and his regulator campaign in Albany. Just like last week, the lieutenant governor and his top aides personally assured allies that they expect him to be released if anything goes wrong in the case.
But Harlem real estate investor Gerald Mikdol, who illegally aided his campaign, soon began providing information to investigators. He was arrested Wire fraud, gross identity theft and other allegations related to his role in this case.
In A large jury indictment Last November, a month after he filed to run for the position of State Senator Controller, in October 2019, Mr. Fraudulent donations of thousands of dollars to Benjamin. Prosecutors said Mikdol began to pay. They allege that he made straw donations in the name of individuals, including his 2-year-old grandson, who did not consent to them and reimbursed the cost of contributing to others.
At the time, prosecutors said Mr. Mikdol did not comment on the motive, nor did he explicitly mention Mr. Benjamin’s name. But they said his plan was designed to help the candidate in New York City’s generous public campaign-funded fundraiser and help him earn tens of thousands of dollars in extra campaign money.
Both received close and accolades in a series of charitable and political activities over the years in Harlem, where Mr. Mikdol made a name for himself by distributing school supplies and Thanksgiving turkeys through his charity.
State records And A Facebook photo In September 2019, Friends of the Public School presented an enlarged card check for $ 50,000 to a charity called Harlem. Benjamin showed up to give it to him. State education funds, in fact, have always been given, but they are one of the biggest outward gifts sent to a small charity.
A graduate of Ivy League schools, Mr. Benjamin spent most of his life in banking and affordable housing development before winning the state Senate seat, which represents most of the city of Harlem in 2017.
In Albany, he was a leading supporter of the criminal justice reform measures passed by the Democrats after winning a majority in 2018. He finished fourth in the primary race for Democrat control last year.
Mr. Hochul Benjamin was elected his deputy governor Last August, Mr. Following Guomo’s resignation, he was promoted to governor of the House of Commons. Ms. Hochul, a buffalo moderate, said the decision was widely seen as a way to expand her appeal to non-white voters in New York City ahead of this year’s election.
It is unknown at this time what he will do after leaving the post.
The duties of the rank of Lieutenant Governor will vary depending on the administration. Mr. In the eight months since Benjamin’s inauguration, he has kept a vigorous schedule of official events, often chairing the state senate and representing Ms Hochula at events in New York City. As Ms. Hochulin’s experience has shown, the lieutenant governor’s most important task is to intervene if the governor resigns or dies in office.
Mr. Benjamin faces two strong primary rivals: Diana Raina, former New York City councilor and Ana Maria Archila, with the support of the left-leaning working families party.
If she defeats him and Ms Hochul still wins her race, she will find herself in the Democratic seat by the governor with a relatively opposition rival in this fall general election.
Jeffrey C. Mass Contributed report.
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