Brian Benjamin, the previous New York lieutenant governor who resigned in disgrace right after remaining arrested on federal corruption costs, is virtually two months late in submitting campaign finance disclosures for his scuttled and now-moot re-election bid.
The disclosure, which is required less than condition election regulations, was thanks on July 15. State marketing campaign finance data clearly show Benjamin’s marketing campaign hasn’t submitted it to the point out Board of Elections, boosting concerns about how the marketing campaign is expending contributions and no matter whether it is employing them to pay out for authorized payments he’s racked up since staying indicted in April.
According to the most latest disclosure Benjamin filed for his lieutenant governor campaign committee, as of January the committee had a stability of $1.5 million.
“These political contributions can be utilized for more than campaigning, and that is a problem,” said John Kaehny, head of the the fantastic government team Reinvent Albany. “It’s just a big loophole that the state legislature refuses to close.”
Aside from remaining able to use the campaign income for a lawful protection fund, Kaehny mentioned politicians can also use it for “reputation management,” citing former Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s use of marketing campaign funds right after stepping down as governor a calendar year back.
“It’s out of manage,” Kaehny stated.
Benjamin, a former Harlem state senator who was tapped by Gov. Hochul to be her lieutenant governor last September, was indicted in April for allegedly lying on track record verify types and steering point out money to a non-income in trade for fraudulent donations to a individual campaign for city comptroller, which he shed.
The 23-page indictment from prosecutors with the Southern District of New York billed Benjamin with bribery, fraud, conspiracy and falsification of information. It accused him of scheming to direct $50,000 in point out cash to Buddies of Community Faculty Harlem, a nonprofit managed by longtime ally Gerald Migdol, who sent hundreds of bucks in illegal marketing campaign money to Benjamin’s comptroller bid.
Prosecutors also allege that Benjamin “engaged in a collection of lies,” which includes falsifying campaign donor forms and publishing “false information in vetting types,” a tale the Everyday News 1st noted previous November.
Before this yr, Benjamin employed Berry Berke to stand for him. Berke, a companion at the Kramer Levin organization, formerly represented former Mayor Invoice de Blasio when he was attempting to stay clear of corruption charges in relationship to donations he lifted from persons who sought unique treatment method from Town Corridor. De Blasio was ultimately productive in avoiding those costs.
Benjamin did not right away react to phone calls from The News. Berke also did not return a information.