ALBANY, N.Y. (WTEN) — Brian Benjamin has resigned as New York lieutenant governor after he was taken into custody on campaign finance charges Tuesday.
Gov. Kathy Hochul released a statement accepting Benjamin’s resignation, effective immediately.
“While the legal process plays out, it is clear to both of us that he cannot continue to serve as Lieutenant Governor. New Yorkers deserve absolute confidence in their government, and I will continue working every day to deliver for them,” Hochul said.
The U.S. Attorney’s office said Benjamin was arrested on charges of bribery, honest services wire fraud and falsification of records.
ABC News linked the charges to a scheme to obtain campaign money in exchange for a state grant. The Associated Press refers to U.S. prosecutors who said it’s a federal corruption investigation.
According to the New York Times, Benjamin will be appearing in Manhattan federal court. He reportedly surrendered to authorities to face the charges in connection with a past campaign.
Benjamin, formerly a state senator from Harlem, had joined the Hochul administration in September, chosen by her to fill her former job a couple of weeks after she stepped into the governorship.
Benjamin was the state’s second Black lieutenant governor. During his state Legislature career, the Democrat emphasized criminal justice reform and affordable housing.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.