After pleading guilty to tax evasion, New York Rep. Michael Grimm is set to resign from the House according to the New York Daily News on Monday. Grimm was charged in April with hiding more than $1 million in revenue from a restaurant he owned before he ran for Congress; he maintained his innocence and was re-elected in November. Grimm decided to change course after speaking with House Speaker John Boehner on Monday. Grimm said after entering his plea that he planned to continue serving in the House.
Grimm is scheduled to announce his resignation on Tuesday or Wednesday. Last week, Grimm only pleaded guilty to only a single count of tax evasion. Governor Andrew Cuomo will now have to call for a special election to fill the open seat because of Grimm’s decision. GOP candidates could include Staten Island District Attorney Daniel Donovan, who has faced scathing criticism over the failure to hand down an indictment in the Eric Garner case, along with Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis and state Sen. Andrew Lanza. A special election must be held between 70-80 days from the date Cuomo announces one, according to state election rules. The Democratic and Republican candidates would be chosen by internal party rules, negating a primary election. If Cuomo doesn’t call a special election, the seat would remain vacant for the year until the next general election in November 2015.
Before his plea, Grimm had been scheduled to go on trial Feb. 2 on charges of evading taxes by hiding more than $1 million in receipts and wages at Healthalicious, a Manhattan restaurant he owned before he was elected to Congress in 2010. Grimm said during that campaign that he would resign his seat if a conviction left him “unable to serve.” Although he could have a last-minute change of heart, sources said Monday he realizes his position is untenable.
Grimm has been investigated for an unrelated campaign finance matter, but was perhaps best known for threatening a reporter on-camera in January when the reporter asked about the status of that case. Grimm, who was being interviewed about President Obama’s State of the Union Address, accused the reporter of trying to ambush him with questions about the campaign scandal and said “Let me be clear to you, you ever do that to me again I’ll throw you off this f—— balcony.” After the video of the confrontation went public, Grimm apologized.
According to court documents, Grimm admitted to all the illegal conduct including hiring undocumented immigrants and lying under oath in 2013.