New York Rep. Michael Grimm announced that he will resign a week after pleading guilty to a federal tax evasion charge. Grimm won reelection to a third term in November despite his legal troubles.
“The events which led to this day did not break my spirit, nor the will of the voters,” said Grimm in a statement. “However, I do not believe that I can continue to be 100% effective in the next Congress, and therefore, out of respect for the Office and the people I so proudly represent, it is time for me to start the next chapter of my life.”
Grimm, a former FBI agent and Marine who represents Staten Island and parts of Brooklyn, pleaded guilty on December 23 to one count of aiding the preparation of a false tax return and faces up to three years in prison for the charge. Prosecutors unveiled a 20-count indictment in April for underreporting over a million dollars in wages and earnings at his Manhattan restaurant Healthalicious, among other charges.
Grimm’s congressional career has been marked by personal conduct issues. He memorably threatened on air that he would throw a reporter over a balcony after the reporter asked a question about campaign finance allegations. Grimm later apologized.
Grimm’s resignation is effective on Jan. 5, a day before the House convenes. His sentencing is scheduled for June 8.
“It has been an honor and a privilege to serve the hardworking families on both sides of the Verrazano, and I am sincerely grateful for the love and support that I have received from so many over the past few difficult months,” added Grimm in his statement. “I have seen first-hand how extraordinary the people of this district are—their values, their love of community, and their care for each other in the best and worst of times—it is humbling. I am grateful, and I will always keep them in my prayers.”