ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - The New York Daily News on the indictment of Congressman Michael Grimm.
If Michael Grimm cares as much about the people of Staten Island and Brooklyn as he claims to, he will step aside now and let someone else give their undivided attention to serving the 11th Congressional District.
Grimm, onetime FBI agent, is now staring down a 20-count federal indictment . According to the government, between 2007 and 2010, while running an Upper East Side restaurant called Healthalicious, Grimm:
— kept separate sets of books - one with correct payroll records, much of which were paid in cash, the other with incomplete information, thereby cheating the federal and state treasury of sales, income and payroll taxes ;
— knowingly employed undocumented immigrant workers;
— lied about these facts and others under oath.
In legal proceedings, Grimm is extended the presumption of innocence. But this has implications beyond the courts. The question is whether a tarnished candidate can give voters the credible choice they deserve - and, if he wins in November, whether a tarnished elected official can effectively represent some 700,000 people.
The answers: no and no.
A man credibly charged as a tax cheat cannot write the tax code. A man who, according to the feds, intentionally hired undocumented immigrants cannot overhaul immigration policy. A man who lies under oath cannot question others under penalty of perjury.
Grimm was already facing a tough challenger in former City Councilman Domenic Recchia. Creative election lawyers need to find a loophole - so the GOP can nominate someone who can ably compete for votes, and then serve ably if elected. Someone other than Michael Grimm.
The Buffalo News on the federal historic tax credit program.