New York City

Grimm to resign after guilty plea

December 30, 2014 By Stephen Ohlemacher Associated Press
U.S. Rep. Michael Grimm will resign from Congress effective Jan. 5. AP photo
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WASHINGTON (AP) — A New York congressman who pleaded guilty to tax evasion is expected to resign before Congress returns to Washington next week.

Following his guilty plea, Republican Rep. Michael Grimm had said he would stay in Congress as long as he could. But on Monday, a Republican source told The Associated Press that Grimm is expected to resign before the start of the new Congress next week.

The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, was not authorized to discuss Grimm’s resignation publicly.

Grimm reportedly talked with House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, before deciding to step down. Boehner has forced other lawmakers to resign for lesser offenses.

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Boehner has not discussed Grimm’s  future publicly. Boehner spokesman Michael Steel said in an email, “We do not discuss private conversations the speaker has with members.”

The new Congress is scheduled to open 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.

Grimm entered a guilty plea last week to one count of aiding in the filing of a false tax return. He was re-elected to his Staten Island seat in November, even though he was under indictment.

A former Marine and FBI agent, Grimm was elected to Congress in 2010, scoring an upset win over first-term Democratic Rep. Michael McMahon.

According to an indictment, the tax fraud began in 2007 after Grimm retired from the FBI and began investing in a small Manhattan restaurant called Healthalicious. The indictment accused him of underreporting more than $1 million in wages and receipts to evade payroll, income and sales taxes, partly by paying immigrant workers, some of them in the country illegally, in cash.

Sentencing was 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.

After his court appearance, Grimm said he planned to stay in Congress. “As long as I’m able to serve, I’m going to serve,” he said.

He also apologized for his actions. “I should not have done it and I am truly sorry for it,” he said.

The New York Daily News first reported Grimm’s plans to give up his seat.

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