U.S. Representative Michael Grimm has announced plans to resign from Congress after he entered a guilty plea last week to felony tax charges in federal court. The New York politician said that he will officially end his tenure as congressman on January 5, 2015. The congressman said that his decision was based largely on the fact that he will not be as effective in Congress as a result of the events that have transpired.
The allegations against the congressman stemmed from his preparation of a fraudulent tax return relating to a restaurant he co-owned prior to his career in office. The restaurant was called "Healthalicious."
In previous statements, Grimm said that he would continue his term in Congress for as long as he was able. The recent announcement is a change in direction.
Grimm Reached Plea Deal in Federal Case
The congressman reached a plea bargain agreement with the prosecution in his tax evasion case. The plea deal required him to execute a statement of fact where he confessed to the concealment of almost $1 million worth of gross receipts over a 3-year time period, from 2007 to 2010.
The Speaker of the House of Representatives John Boehner did not ask Grimm to resign publicly. However, the Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi announced that Republicans should demand his resignation.
The 44-year-old Congressman Grimm's congressional district includes areas of Brooklyn and Staten Island, New York. His resignation will require elections for his replacement. Meanwhile, Grimm could be sentenced to as many as three years in federal prison during his sentencing hearing on June 8 of this year.
Did Grimm Really Have to Resign?
According to the law, Grimm did not technically have resign from his position. Indeed, House Leader Boehner does not have the authority to cancel the congressmen's swearing in ceremony next month. However, Boehner could request that the congressional Ethics Committee to expel him. Reportedly, Boehner met with the congressman on Monday to have a private discussion about his future, and it could be speculated that such topics were covered at the time.
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