After initially saying he would continue to serve, Rep. Grimm handed in his resignation from congress, effective January 5. Facing reporters after the hearing, Grimm owned up to making some “big mistakes,” explaining that he “underreported” sales receipts to pay business expenses, including compensating employees “off the books.” In his statement he said: “The events which led to this day did not break my spirit, nor the will of the voters,” he said. “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.”
Nancy Pelosi, who allowed Charlie Rangel to remain in the House after his continuing tax issues, had called for Grimm to resign. The congressman who has been writing our tax laws, Rangel claimed he didn’t know he owed over $300,000 in taxes, he also didn’t know he was supposed to pay $7,253 monthly rent on his Harlem district office for all of 2013. New York taxpayers eventually picked up the tab.
Beginning in 2008, Rangel faced a series of allegations of ethics violations and failures to comply with tax laws. The House Ethics Committee focused on whether Rangel improperly rented multiple rent-stabilized New York apartments, improperly used his office in raising money for the Rangel Center at the City College of New York, and failed to disclose rental income from his villa in the Dominican Republic. In March 2010, Rangel stepped aside as Ways and Means Chair. In November 2010, the Ethics Committee found Rangel guilty of 11 counts of violating House ethics rules, and on December 2, 2010, the full House approved a sanction of censure against Rangel. But he is still a Congressman. It is hard to see the difference between the two violations, other than for some reason, Charlie Rangel wasn’t indicted.
Do we want men or women in Congress who ignore the law? No. We do want people treated equally without regard to their party or race. It may be time to clean out the cesspool that is Congress.
NEW YORK (AP) — A New York congressman who pleaded guilty to tax evasion just days ago has announced he’ll resign from office next week because he would not be able to give the job his full attention anymore.
Republican Rep. Michael Grimm issued a statement late Monday saying he will resign effective Jan. 5.
“The events which led to this day did not break my spirit, nor the will of the voters,” he said. “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’s guilty plea last week to aiding in the filing of a false tax return came after he was re-elected to his Staten Island seat in November, even though he was under indictment.
Following the plea, Grimm said he would stay in Congress as long as he could.
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.
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.
A former Marine and FBI agent with support from former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, 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.