Embattled Rep. Michael G. Grimm (R-N.Y.), who pleaded guilty last week to tax evasion, said he would resign before Congress returned next week.
Grimm, 44, had said he would stay in Congress as long as he could, but he reportedly talked with House Speaker John A. Boehner and said Monday night that he would step down.
“After much thought and prayer, I have made the very difficult decision to step down from Congress effective Jan. 5,” Grimm said in a statement. “This decision is made with a heavy heart, as I have enjoyed a very special relationship and closeness with my constituents, whom I care about deeply.”
Grimm had been reelected to his Staten Island seat in November, even though he was under indictment. He admitted last week to aiding in the filing of a false tax return, according to court filings.
“The events which led to this day did not break my spirit, nor the will of the voters,” Grimm said in the statment. “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 was indicted in April on federal charges including mail fraud, wire fraud, tax evasion, employing undocumented workers and perjury in relation to a Manhattan fast-food restaurant he once co-owned and operated.
Grimm admitted that he had made “off the books” payments to employees and under-reported nearly $1 million in gross receipts to the Internal Revenue Service and New York state tax collectors. He also admitted that he lied during a deposition about whether employees had been paid in cash, and whether he had used email accounts to operate the restaurant.
“I should not have done it, and I am truly sorry for it,” he told reporters outside the courtroom.
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SOURCE: The Los Angeles Times