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Boehner: Resignation of N.Y. Rep. Grimm ‘honorable’

December 30, 2014 By Matthew Daly and Larry Neumeister Associated Press
Outgoing U.S. Rep. Michael Grimm. AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File
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WASHINGTON — House Speaker John Boehner said Tuesday that U.S. Rep. Michael Grimm made the right decision by resigning from Congress after pleading guilty to tax evasion charges.

Boehner (R-Ohio) said Grimm’s decision was “honorable,” adding that he knows Grimm made his decision “with the best interests of his constituents and the institution [of the House] in mind.” Boehner said he appreciated Grimm’s service to the House.

Grimm, a New York Republican, had vowed to stay in Congress as long as he could, even after his guilty plea last week. But he said Monday night that he plans to resign effective Jan. 5.

Grimm, of Staten Island, also said he did not believe he could be fully effective in the new Congress and needed to start the next chapter of his life.

Grimm pleaded guilty last week to aiding in the filing of a false tax return. He was recently re-elected to a third two-year term in November.

The new Congress is scheduled to convene Jan. 6, and Grimm’s presence would have been a distraction for Republicans who will control both the House and the Senate.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and the Democratic National Committee had called on Grimm to resign.

According to an indictment, the tax fraud began in 2007 and the disgraced politician was accused of underreporting wages and receipts to evade payroll, income and sales taxes, partly by paying immigrant workers, some of them in the country illegally, in cash.

“The congressman fully embraces and accepts his responsibility for his actions,” his lawyer, Stuart N. Kaplan, said in a statement Tuesday, adding that Grimm “shows great humility in moving forward for himself, as well as his constituents, to resign.”

Grimm’s sentencing is scheduled for June 8. Prosecutors said a range of 24 to 30 months in prison would be appropriate, while the defense estimated the appropriate sentence as between 12 and 18 months.


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