Day 1158

(Ex-)Congressman Michael G. Grimm

March 2nd, 2015

In April of last year, then-Representative Michael "I'll break you in half — like a boy" Grimm, a former FBI agent and Marine, was indicted in federal court on a slew of charges stemming from his pre-Congressional stint as a health-food restaurateur. He was accused of underreporting wages and revenue and hiring undocumented workers at his terribly named Upper East Side restaurant, Healthalicious (slogan: "better than delicious"), as well as lying under oath in a lawsuit brought by restaurant employees.

Despite his legal troubles, Grimm decided to run for re-election in November, leading some to speculate that he was seeking another term largely so that he could then offer to resign as part of a plea bargain. Even with all the controversy swirling around him, he handily won re-election in a truly pitiful contest over a truly pitiful opponent, Domenic Recchia. One voter told the NY Times: "Everybody is kind of counting on Grimm getting convicted and then maybe there will be a special election . . . And maybe we’ll have better choices."

On December 23, a few weeks after his victory, Grimm pleaded guilty to one felony charge of tax fraud while also acknowledging that he had committed perjury and wire fraud and hired illegal immigrants, but he nevertheless vowed not to step down from Congress. Less than a week later, however, after meeting with House Speaker John Boehner, he announced that he would be resigning effective January 5, having served not even a day of his new term. Now it's early March and his former district office here on New Dorp Lane still looks the same as ever (compare: September 2012, March 2015), even though it's been nearly two months since one could accurately describe Michael G. Grimm as "Congressman".

UPDATE (Oct. 31, 2015): Dan Donovan, the Staten Island district attorney whose office handled the controversial (because it didn't produce an indictment) grand jury inquiry into the death of Eric Garner at the hands of the police, was selected by the voters in May to replace Grimm in Congress, and he has since taken over Grimm's old district office on New Dorp Lane. In July, Grimm was sentenced to eight months in prison, with the judge telling him: "Your moral compass, Mr. Grimm, needs some reorientation." He started serving his sentence in September at a minimum-security prison camp in western Pennsylvania.

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