Why Gov. Hochul should let go of Man No. 2 Brian Benjamin

Gov. Kathy Hochul has a competitor problem: Lt. gov. Brian Benjamin played fast and loose with the state Senate’s subsistence allowance and travel expense reimbursement system, as well as state campaign finance regulations.

Times Union investigators found 12 Times the Then-Senator Used His Campaign Credit Card While Traveling He Even received taxpayer-funded reimbursements for its expenses. His daily allowance records and campaign records confirm the double-dip.

State law states that submitting counterfeit refund coupons “may be a felony or a misdemeanor.” (Senate forms do not contain this explicit warning, but the assembly’s travel voucher clearly states it.)

This refers to criminal proceedings against other legislators.

  • MP Roger Green (D-B’klyn) resigned left office in 2004 after pleading guilty to misdemeanor charges that included claims of false travel expenses and reimbursement for travel between Brooklyn and Albany that he had not paid for.

Raising MPs’ salaries to more than $100,000 should put an end to such abuses. Ha!

While Benjamin cites incompetence rather than arrogance for his false claims, he is at least a liar: when Team Hochul screened him for his current post, he stated on a state police background check form that he had never been contacted by one had become a “regulator” for a possible violation or investigation into campaign finance – when both the state elections commission and the city campaign finance commission investigated his campaigns.

Benjamin only repaid his campaign after media inquiries exposed him.

If Hochul decides to keep Benjamin as her No. 2, even in this year’s election, she’d better explain why his ethics violations don’t matter. Why Gov. Hochul should let go of Man No. 2 Brian Benjamin


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