A federal judge in Manhattan dismissed bribery charges against former Lt. Gov. Brian A. Benjamin of New York on Monday, saying prosecutors had not demonstrated an explicit quid pro quo in what they asserted was a scheme to funnel $50,000 in state money to a developer in exchange for campaign contributions.
In a 38-page opinion, the judge, J. Paul Oetken of Federal District Court, said that the government had a higher burden when accusing politicians like Mr. Benjamin of exchanging favors for political donations, rather than personal benefit. In Mr. Benjamin’s case, he concluded that prosecutors fell short, failing to show that the favor trading had been “clear and unambiguous” and mutually understood.
You can see the opinion in United States v. Benjamin here.