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New York's Rep. Michael Grimm Pleads Guilty To Tax Charge

Rep. Michael Grimm, seen here after voting in the Staten Island borough of New York City, was indicted on 20 criminal counts earlier this year.
Andrew Burton
Getty Images
Rep. Michael Grimm, seen here after voting in the Staten Island borough of New York City, was indicted on 20 criminal counts earlier this year.

Rep. Michael Grimm, the New York Republican who won re-election despite being indicted on 20 criminal counts related to a restaurant he owns, pleaded guilty to one charge of felony tax evasion Tuesday. He'll be sentenced in June; calls for him to leave Congress began Tuesday morning.

Grimm, a former FBI agent who represents Staten Island and south Brooklyn, had previously pleaded not guilty to charges that included mail fraud and perjury.

Update at 2:15 p.m. ET: Grimm Pleads Guilty In Federal Court

Grimm appeared in a Brooklyn courtroom just before 1:30 p.m. ET Tuesday, where he changed his plea to a charge of "willfully filing a fraudulent tax claim," according to the Staten Island Advance.

The newspaper says Grimm told the judge: "While operating a restaurant we underestimated the gross receipts, used some of that money to pay employees off the books, as well as to pay other expenses of the restaurant."

"He could face a worst-case scenario of 24 to 30 months in prison," the Advance says. "Sentencing was scheduled for June 8 at 10:30 a.m."

Our original post continues:

Tuesday morning, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi called for Grimm to be thrown out of Congress, according to Roll Call.

Saying that Grimm "is finally admitting the truth to his constituents," Pelosi added, "Speaker Boehner must insist that Congressman Grimm resign immediately."

Speaker of the House John Boehner's spokesman responded to that by saying, "We won't have any announcements until the Speaker discusses the matter with Mr. Grimm," according to The Hill's Scott Wong.

It's been quite a year for Grimm, who in January threatened to throw a TV reporter off a balcony in an incident that was famously captured on video.

Grimm later apologized. Here's how he explained it in October, when NPR's Joel Rose noted that his campaign seems "more crime drama than congressional race":

" 'I'm a U.S. Marine and I'm tenacious,' Grimm said. 'Doesn't mean you should act inappropriately. But I doubt there's anyone in the audience who hasn't said something they regretted. That's why you apologize.' "

Last month, Grimm earned another term by handily defeating his Democratic challenger, Domenic Recchia.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Bill Chappell is a writer and editor on the News Desk in the heart of NPR's newsroom in Washington, D.C.