Republican lawmakers calling for lieutenant governor’s resignation

Photo courtesy of the Governor’s Office

Senate Republicans are calling for the resignation of Lt. Governor Brian Benjamin following news of his arrest Tuesday morning, April 12.

Senate Minority Leader Robert Ortt, Sen. Jim Tedisco and Assembly Republican leader Will Barclay called for Benjamin’s immediate resignation following news of his arrest this morning on possible campaign fraud charges.

At 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Gov. Kathy Hochul released a statement saying she has accepted her lieutenant governor’s resignation:

“I have accepted Brian 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,” Hochul said. “New Yorkers deserve absolute confidence in their government, and I will continue working every day to deliver for them.”

Benjamin surrendered himself to authorities this Tuesday, April 12th, in the midst of an investigation by the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Manhattan into reported campaign fraud during Benjamin’s bid for New York City Comptroller in June 2021.

“Over the past few days and weeks, Kathy Hochul and the [Democratic] majorities in Albany have reinforced their support for Brian Benjamin despite news of federal investigations,” Ortt said this morning. “Governor Hochul said herself that she has ‘changed the culture of Albany.’

“Unfortunately, it looks like business as usual in our state Capitol. Kathy Hochul and Senate Democrats might tolerate this corruption, but New Yorkers don’t and neither do I. 

“I’m calling on Governor Hochul and Senate Democrats to stop hiding from the truth and join me in demanding Brian Benjamin’s resignation.”

Ortt’s colleague, long-time Senator Jim Tedisco, is also calling for Benjamin’s resignation.

“Bribery is a serious crime and the lieutenant governor is an important leadership position who is one heartbeat away from becoming our state’s chief executive,” Tedisco said. “The shocking arrest today of Governor Kathy Hochul’s hand-selected Lt. Gov. Brian Benjamin for a federal bribery conspiracy charge as part of an alleged campaign finance scheme marks another sad day at the state Capitol and another slap in the face to the millions of overburdened New York taxpayers who face high taxes, rising crime and a deteriorating quality of life in the state they love.

“How many times do New Yorkers have to watch this movie because we keep seeing the same storyline play out again and again?”

State Conservative Party Chairman Gerard Kassar said: “Here we go again. Another day, another senior New York Democrat arrested for alleged corruption, this time Lt. Gov. Brian Benjamin. It’s enough to make New York taxpayers scream…New Yorkers are sick of the chaos that Democrats have inflicted on this state. Crime, corruption, taxes, and wokeism have turned New York into a national punchline. Only a new governor can turn this state around. The current one is but another charter member of the Albany swamp.”

The investigation of Brian Benjamin started after campaign fundraiser Gerald Migdol, founder and President of the Migdol Organization, was arrested this past November under the charges of aggravated identity theft and wire fraud.

“The news regarding the arrest of Lt. Gov. Brian Benjamin is very disappointing for the people of New York state,” Assembly Republican Leader Will Barclay added. “Albany has a persistent and pervasive corruption problem and today’s federal indictment is a disturbing indication that problem is still a major obstacle hampering the People’s Business. He must resign immediately.”

“I’m calling on Lt. Governor Benjamin to resign,” Sen. Tedisco said. “If Benjamin refuses to resign, he should not continue to preside over the Senate Chamber during session.”