New York Lt. Gov. Brian Benjamin resigned Tuesday just hours after being arrested on charges of federal bribery conspiracy related to his unsuccessful city comptroller campaign.

Gov. Kathy Hochul, who served as lieutenant governor and ascended to the governorship last August upon the resignation of her predecessor, confirmed she accepted Benjamin's resignation just hours after he was brought up on federal charges.

“I have accepted Brian Benjamin’s resignation effective immediately,” said Hochul in a statement. “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.”


Benjamin, a Democrat, is accused of funneling state funding to a real estate investor in Harlem in return for thousands of dollars in illegal campaign donations to his 2021 comptroller campaign, prosecutors confirmed to the Washington Examiner.

The arrest of the lieutenant governor, who took office in September 2021 amid a reshuffling in the months following Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s resignation, complicates Benjamin’s political future as well as Hochul’s chances of being reelected come November. While there’s no evidence the governor had any knowledge of Benjamin’s wrongdoings, it paints an awkward light for her campaign as she continues to champion against corruption.

Benjamin has been charged with bribery, honest services wire fraud, and two counts of falsification of records after the FBI and the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York launched an investigation into his campaign finances while he was a state senator.

Gerald Migdol, a real estate developer accused of involvement with the scheme, was arrested last November on charges of aggravated identity theft, wire fraud, and other charges. He later told authorities he made donations to Benjamin under other people's names and then reimbursed them to circumvent campaign finance laws.

After Migdol’s indictment, Benjamin’s office vowed to return any improper donations, and Hochul publicly defended her No. 2’s actions.

“I have utmost confidence in my lieutenant governor,” she said at a press conference at the time, according to the Associated Press. “This is an independent investigation related to other people and he’s fully cooperating. He is my running mate.”


Benjamin is expected to remain on the Democratic primary ballot in June for the lieutenant governor position, according to the New York Times. Because Benjamin was chosen as the Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor, he cannot be removed from the ballot unless he moves out of state, dies, or seeks another office.

He is set to appear in a Manhattan federal court Tuesday.