New state senator collects consulting cash for former RE firm: report

Ethics watchdog says it poses potential conflicts of interest

From left: Albany State House Brian Benjamin, and 28 West 127th Street
From left: Albany State House Brian Benjamin, and 28 West 127th Street

Democrat Brian Benjamin has a seat in Albany after winning a special election for the the State Senate in May. But that’s not going to keep him from drawing a check from his former real estate firm, Genesis Companies, the New York Post reported.

Ethics documents filed by Genesis Companies’ CEO Karim Hutson show that Benjamin is currently on consulting retainer for $5,000 a month, though Benjamin denies he is getting paid, according to the Post.

Blair Horner, executive director of good-government organization New York Public Interest Group said “being allowed to moonlight creates potential conflicts.” Benjamin, however, said “My background building affordable housing only deepens my understanding of these issues … To suggest otherwise is frankly ludicrous.”

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Benjamin’s company manages more than 1,000 apartments in New York City. During the election, Benjamin enjoyed the support of a number of for-profit affordable housing developers, with donors including BFC Partners’ Donald Capoccia and L+M Development’s Ron Moelis.

In June, Benjamin introduced a bill that would fine brokers attempting to rebrand a southern swarth of Harlem “SoHa”  [NYP]Will Parker