Headlines for December 6, 2022

Cornell University has received national recognition for being one of the most engaged campuses when it comes to college student voting. According to the Cornell Chronicle, the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge recognizes higher education facilities for their efforts to increase student voter participation. Cornell joins 394 other colleges and universities recognized by the challenge. Much of Cornell’s success can be attributed to Cornell Votes, a non-partisan student-led organization aimed at increasing civil engagement across campus. 

According to the Ithaca Voice, Mayor-elect Laura Lewis has decided to hire Acting-Police Chief John Joly in the role permanently. However, the decision has faced significant pushback from Ithaca’s Common Council. Council must approve of the decision before it is made official. Several members expressed frustration that Lewis made the decision without consulting or requesting their input, and four members have indicated that they would move to reject the hire. Furthermore, the selection committee—which contains three members of Common Council—had privately recommended former IPD lieutenant Scott Garin to lead the IPD. Lewis ultimately decided against their recommendation. In order to be approved, Joly will need 5 votes from Common Council. 

The Times Union reports that a Federal Judge has scrapped charges of bribery and fraud against former Lieutenant Governor Brian Benjamin. The ruling finds that federal prosecutors failed to demonstrate “an explicit quid pro quo.” Benjamin had resigned from the Hochul administration following allegations of corruption in April. Prosecutors had alleged that Benjamin accepted improper campaign contributions for his 2021 campaign for New York City Comptroller from real estate agent Gerold Migdol. Prosecutors contended the gift was made in exchange for Benjamin directing $50,000 of taxpayer funds to a nonprofit run by Migdol. The suit also claims Benjamin falsified records in relation to the gift. He still faces those charges.

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