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Cayuga County-area state senators react to Lt. Gov. Benjamin’s arrest, resignation

Cayuga County-area politicians on both sides of the aisle have swiftly condemned the alleged scheme that led to Lieutenant Governor Brian Benjamin’s arrest and ultimate resignation on Tuesday.

State Senator John Mannion (D-Geddes) was one such elected official. He stated that “people should be able to trust the process and the individuals involved,” noting that Benjamin’s alleged quid pro quo scheme uncovered in a federal probe is especially egregious because of its use of taxpayer funds.

“This does not look good…It’s not a good day for New York state,” said Mannion.

Related: Lt. Governor Benjamin resigns after being indicted on federal bribery charges

State Sen. Pam Helming (R-Canandaigua) called on Benjamin to step down hours before his resignation on the afternoon of Tuesday, April 12. She highlighted the discrepancy between elected officials who “work hard” on behalf of constituents and people like the lieutenant governor who “feel they are exempt from the rules,” according to The Citizen.

The impact of Benjamin’s resignation is far-reaching. There is no process to have him removed as Governor Kathy Hochul’s running mate ahead of the June 28 primary.

State Sen. Peter Oberacker (R-Schenevus) criticized Hochul herself for what he calls a “lack of transparency” during her time in office and said Benjamin’s arrest only strengthens those concerns.