‘Real problem’: Gov Hochul faces tough decision on Brian Benjamin to win seat, sources say

New York Lt. Gov. Brian Benjamin surrendered to federal authorities Tuesday morning to face bribery conspiracy charges tied to an alleged campaign finance scheme that dates back to his days as a state senator, the NY Post reports.

Benjamin, who Gov. Kathy Hochul chose in August as her No. 2 and running mate for this year’s election, is accused of funneling phony campaign contributions to his unsuccessful bid for city comptroller, in a scheme that a top prosecutor called “plain and simple” bribery.

During a press conference, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Damian Williams labeled Benjamin’s actions “a simple story of corruption.”

“Benjamin allegedly directed a $50,000 state grant to a nonprofit organization … and in exchange, Benjamin received tens of thousands of dollars,” he said.

“Those contributions were directed both to Benjamin’s state Senate campaign committee, and to Benjamin’s New York City comptroller campaign,” Williams explained. “Taxpayer money for campaign contributions – quid pro quo – this, for that — that’s bribery, plain and simple.”

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