Just days after Gov. Kathy Hochul announced that she had given her mendacious Lt. gov. Brian Benjamin, who has repeated subpoenas and interviews with various state and federal investigators that have punctured his previous campaign activities, Benjamin surrendered to arrest by the federal authorities.
The indictment focuses on his career as a city inspector over the past year; arrested by the FBI One of his top fundraisers, Harlem real estate mogul Gerald Migdol, accused him in November of wire fraud to illegally fund Benjamin’s campaign.
That would have been a good time to find a new No.2 Gov to add to the revelations that Benjamin had lied on disclosure forms to become LG and pretended he had never been investigated even though he knew he was at that point.
Or when reported the Times Union that Benjamin was playing fast and loose with the State Senate’s subsistence allowance and travel expense reimbursement system and campaign finance disclosure rules. After that collapsed, he reimbursed his campaign committee for using his credit card on Senate-covered trips.
Or maybe last month, when the FBI subpoenaed the Senate over grants Benjamin may have steered to Friends of Harlem Public Schools Inc., a charity controlled by Migdol.
It’s almost impossible to remove Benjamin from the June primary unless he resigns, but his two challengers just got a big boost: former councilwoman Diana Reyna and left-wing activist Ana Maria Archila.
This muddle adds to Hochul’s own various issues on the ethics front: Many think she was far too generous with the Buffalo Bills’ out-of-state owners when taxpayers would cover most of the costs of the team’s new stadium, and she was absolutely Cuomoesque in her fundraising, sucking up dark money from the real estate industry.
She also joined a lame replacement for the state ethics board, which still leaves lawmakers to choose their own ethics police. (It is no coincidence that Benjamin is opposite federal like former House Speaker Sheldon Silver and Senate leader Dean Skelos before him.)
“I have the utmost faith in the lieutenant governor,” Hochul told reporters just last week. Last but not least, she just proved that her own judgment stinks.
https://nypost.com/2022/04/12/lt-gov-brian-benjamins-arrest-exposes-kathy-hochuls-vast-ethics-problem/ The arrest of Lt. gov. Brian Benjamin reveals Kathy Hochul’s big ethical issue