TOP News

Politics: Hochul and Lt. Gov. Benjamin dodge questions about botched N.Y. background check

Cuomo won’t leave New York alone

  Cuomo won’t leave New York alone Even as Albany’s insiders focus on Andrew Cuomo’s successor, Gov. Kathy Hochul, they privately continue worrying about what he might be up to.Three months after resigning in disgrace, battered by misconduct allegations leveled by nearly a dozen women, the former New York governor continues to make weekly headlines.

While Gov . Kathy Hochul was in New York City on Saturday, she made a stop in Harlem at the National Action Network House of Justice.

While Gov . Kathy Hochul was in New York City on Saturday, she made a stop in Harlem at the National Action Network House of Justice.

Gov. Hochul and Lt. Gov. Brian Benjamin continued to dodge questions Tuesday about inaccurate information Benjamin provided for a background check before he was sworn in as Hochul’s second in command.

Hochul, who appeared alongside Cardinal Timothy Dolan at a Thanksgiving food giveaway in Harlem, refused to respond when asked why she accepted Benjamin’s background check given that it contained easily demonstrable inaccuracies.

As she ignored the question, her spokeswoman Hazel Crampton-Hays attempted to block a Daily News reporter from approaching, contending that “we’re getting in the way of the hungry people.”

NY mogul with ties to lt. gov. faces campaign fraud charges

  NY mogul with ties to lt. gov. faces campaign fraud charges A New York real estate mogul with reported ties to Lt. Gov. Brian Benjamin (D) was indicted this week on charges of fraud and identity theft.Gerald Migdol was accused by Manhattan federal prosecutors of scheming on behalf of "the campaign of a candidate for New York City Comptroller," according to a local NBC News station.While prosecutors did not name Benjamin, who had a failed campaign for the office, sources close to the situation confirmed to NBC that the investigation was referring to the lieutenant governor.Migdol allegedly ordered fraudulent contributions to be collected so that Benjamin could pocket public matching funds.

New York Lt . Gov . Brian Benjamin supplied incorrect info on a background verify he submitted to the governor ’s workplace and state police as a part of the vetting course of he needed to bear to tackle his present function, a Day by day Information’ evaluate of public data Hochul , Benjamin didn’t present the precise date he first had contact with the Board, however he initially instructed The Information it was in early August that he made the choice to reimburse his marketing campaign out of his personal pocket — which got here after he was first contacted by the Board of Elections, the state regulatory

New York Lt . Gov . Brian Benjamin speaks after he was sworn in Sept. “I have the most NYCHA [residents] of any senator in the state, and so I know very clearly the issues around the billion-plus of capital needs that are there and growing quickly,” he said. Benjamin ’s placement continues the upstate-downstate balance in the administration, and Hochul said his work with the NYCHA and COVID-19 vaccination push will help build trust in the government , one of her primary goals in taking over for Gov .

New York Lt. Gov. Brian Benjamin (left) and New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (right) © Richard Drew New York Lt. Gov. Brian Benjamin (left) and New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (right)

New York Lt. Gov. Brian Benjamin (left) and New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (right) (Richard Drew/)

The follow-up from The News came a day after it reported exclusively about how Benjamin provided inaccurate answers in response to his background check, and after The News posed a series of several questions that continue to go unanswered by both Hochul and Benjamin.

The background check forms, which were obtained by The News through a Freedom of Information Law request, show that on Aug. 16, Benjamin responded “No” when asked if he’d ever been contacted by a “regulatory body concerning any possible legal, regulatory, ethical, or campaign finance, infraction or violation or investigation.”

Jumaane Williams announces run for New York governor, joining a crowded primary in the fallout from Cuomo's resignation

  Jumaane Williams announces run for New York governor, joining a crowded primary in the fallout from Cuomo's resignation Williams centered his announcement video on living with Tourette Syndrome and his activism over the years, including footage of him being arrested.Although Williams had already filed paperwork in October for Albany's corner office, according to Bloomberg News, he entered the primary campaign with a video he tweeted out mid-morning.

ALBANY — Gov . Hochul is expected to announce Sen. Brian Benjamin as her lieutenant governor , the Daily News has learned. 11, 2019, in Albany, N . Y . (Hans Pennink/). The 44-year-old will replace Hochul in her previous, largely ceremonial role and serve as the president of the Senate among other vaguely-defined duties. Benjamin declined to comment although a source said the pair have long maintained a positive relationship.

NY Gov . Kathy Hochul Picks State Sen. Brian Benjamin as Lieutenant Governor . Hochul became governor on Tuesday after Andrew Cuomo was forced to resign after being accused of sexually harassing 11 women during his tenure as governor . She is expected to officially name Benjamin as lieutenant governor on Thursday. Benjamin will likely be given the task of promoting Hochul ’s policies in New York City, where she must do very well to be competitive during next year’s Democratic primary.

But his own statements and news accounts show that his response is false.

Before signing off on the form, Benjamin, a former state Senator and city comptroller candidate, was contacted by both the state Board of Elections and the city Campaign Finance Board about two separate matters — one was the use of his Senate campaign finance account to help pay for a wedding celebration, and the other stems from donations to his comptroller’s run that are now being scrutinized by federal prosecutors.

Benjamin appears to have responded inaccurately to another background check inquiry into whether he’d ever “employed a lobbyist, or consultant who is in a firm with lobbyists.” His response again was “No,” but city Campaign Finance Board records show he employed both the Parkside Group and Pitta LLP for his comptroller’s run — both are registered lobbyists.

He also didn’t bother answering a question about whether donors, lobbyists or consultants for donors “will appear before you, directly or indirectly, in the position for which you seek to be appointed?”

Kelvin Benjamin blasts Joe Judge, Giants after release: 'He’s not a coach that can ever win a Super Bowl'

  Kelvin Benjamin blasts Joe Judge, Giants after release: 'He’s not a coach that can ever win a Super Bowl' Benjamin says that his entire Giants tenure was a "hoax."Now-former Giants tight end (and former wide receiver) Benjamin was released on Wednesday after a reported blow-up between he and head coach Judge, but it's apparently not the first time the two have butted heads.

Lt . Gov . Benjamin said the governor appointed him to chair a New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) task force to address the needs of of city residents, tenants, and landlords, including distribution of emergency rental aid. Along with NYCHA, Benjamin said the governor has tasked him with Hochul ’s re-election campaign. Benjamin unsuccessfully ran for New York City comptroller earlier this year. He served as senior assistant majority leader in the New York State Senate and chair of the budget and revenue committee. Check back with News 8 WROC as we will continue to update

When posed with two fill-in-the-blank boxes — yes or no — Benjamin didn’t fill in either — even though the form states that “every question must be answered.”

After reviewing the forms, The News sent Hochul and Benjamin several detailed questions about the discrepancies between Benjamin’s answers and what actually took place.

So far, Hochul and her press team have refused to say whether she intends to run alongside Benjamin in their respective re-election campaigns. They have declined to say whether the governor offered any input to Benjamin regarding the background check prior to him filling them out. And they would not fully explain why Hochul announced Benjamin as her pick for lieutenant governor and swore him in prior to the background check’s official completion by state police on Sept. 10.

Cardinal Timothy Dolan (left) and New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (right) distribute food through the Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New York. © Provided by New York Daily News Cardinal Timothy Dolan (left) and New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (right) distribute food through the Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New York.

Cardinal Timothy Dolan (left) and New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (right) distribute food through the Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New York.

Benjamin was sworn as lieutenant governor on Sept. 9, and Hochul first announced she would tap him for the role on Aug. 26.

Andrew Cuomo looms in the race to replace him: 'There's power in that fear'

  Andrew Cuomo looms in the race to replace him: 'There's power in that fear' More than three months after he resigned in disgrace, former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo exists in political limbo -- not completely written off as a spent force, but sidelined as the campaign to replace him heats up. © David Dee Delgado/Getty Images New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks during a press conference at One World Trade Center on June 15, 2021 in New York City.

In response to questions from The News, Crampton-Hays said on Monday that “as part of the selection process, we thoroughly reviewed Lieutenant Governor Benjamin’s background and experience, using extensive information in the public domain in addition to information he supplied.”

On Tuesday, she said Hochul’s announcement about Benjamin serving as lieutenant governor and the swearing-in occurred before the completion of the background check because of the “compressed timetable” created by former Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s resignation. She also noted that Hochul’s transition team helped with the vetting process.

“We understand that the Lieutenant Governor is re-reviewing the information he submitted as a part of the selection process to ensure it is as thorough as possible,” she said.

Benjamin, who represented Harlem in the state Senate and was visiting upstate Tuesday, has remained mum for the most part as well.

He and his press team also refused to provide answers to several inquiries. Specifically, they didn’t address questions about whether Benjamin provided timelines to Hochul about his interactions with regulatory bodies prior to signing off on the background check form, or whether he was advised by an attorney while completing the forms, or how he conveyed the completed forms — whether they were delivered by hand, by email or through the mail.

Benjamin’s Chief of Staff Neil Reilly stated Monday that his boss “inadvertently missed a question on the questionnaire and will file an amendment to ensure it is completed.”

“He answered the remainder of the questionnaire honestly but plans to re-review it in the interest of thoroughness and transparency,” Reilly added.

On Tuesday, though, Reilly did not fully respond to several questions posed the day before, as well as a series of follow-up questions sent Tuesday.

With Clayton Guse

Benjamin Castaldi makes confidences a little too intimate in TPMP, Cyril Hanouna and the columnists are very bothering (VIDEO) .
© Capture C8 Benjamin Castaldi makes confidences a little too intimate in TPMP, Cyril Hanouna and the columnists are very embarrassed (VIDEO) Benjamin Castaldi dropped in touch not my post by making confidences a little too personal on his intimate life, causing a big discomfort on the tray. Benjamin Castaldi is never afare of confidences in does not touch my extension.

See also