Rep. Grimm to resign
New York GOP Rep. Michael Grimm, convicted of tax evasion last week, will resign effective January 5 according to a statement released by his office.
“After much thought and prayer, I have made the very difficult decision to step down from Congress effective January 5th, 2015,” he said in a statement. “The decision is made with a heavy heart, as I have enjoyed a very special relationship and closeness with my constituents, whom I care about deeply.”
He said that he cannot “continue to be 100% effective in the next Congress,” and added it is “time for me to start the next chapter of my life.”
Grimm talked to House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) on Monday.
The move sets up a battle for Grimm’s Staten Island- and Brooklyn-based seat in early 2015.
The New York Daily News first reported Boehner’s conversation with Grimm. Boehner aides would not comment on their discussion, calling it a private talk between members.
Grimm, a 44-year-old former FBI agent, admitted a week ago to failing to report more than $900,000 in revenue from a Manhattan restaurant, Healthalicious, that he owned from 2007 to 2010.
He also acknowledged lying in a civil case brought by former Healthalicious employees.
Boehner has not publicly called on Grimm to resign, but the Ohio Republican has said he would not tolerate wrongdoing by his rank-and-file colleagues.
While Boehner could not have prevented Grimm from being sworn in or taking his seat in the 114th Congress, he could urge the Ethics Committee to quickly move to expel Grimm.
The resignation removes one major headache for House Republicans as they start their new chapter of control in Washington. A convicted felon would’ve provided an unwelcome headache for the GOP.
No doubt Speaker Boehner made it clear to Grimm in their talk that Grimm would receive no considerations from him on committee assignments or any of the other perks that Boehner can bestow. The Ethics Committee would also have moved at warp speed to expel the congressman if he had stayed.
Former Democratic Rep. Michael McMahon has been mentioned as a probable candidate. The one term congressman who was defeated by Grimm in 2010 would have a shot to flip a seat - something the Democrats will no doubt work very hard to make a reality. But Grimm won his 11th district race by 13 points in November
President Obama carried the district by 4 points in 2012. When the lines were redrawn, the district became decidedly more Republican, although it is still considered a swing district.