Tags: | Rep. Michael Grimm | John Catsimatidis | tax | evasion

Catsimatidis: Fossella Should Replace Grimm

By    |   Monday, 29 Dec 2014 04:21 PM

New York billionaire real estate and grocery tycoon, former city mayoral candidate and radio host John Catsimatidis has called for New York Republican Rep. Michael Grimm to resign from office after the former FBI agent pleaded guilty to felony income tax evasion.

However, Grimm, who said in his campaign that he would resign if convicted, now says he's digging in and staying put despite a June 8 sentencing hearing that could see him headed for prison for up to three years, the Daily News reports.

On his Sunday morning talk show "Cats Round Table," Catsimatidis said, "I think it's time for him to move on. There's a lot of qualified people out there that could replace that seat," Staten Island Live reported.

A resignation by Grimm, who is to be sworn in for his new term on Jan. 6, would require a special election, and Catsimatidis has several candidates in mind.

He suggested his first choice is former GOP Rep. Vito Fossella, a six-termer who remains a popular figure in Staten Island and a potent force in New York City politics.

He also suggested Republican Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis and District Attorney Daniel Donovan as possible replacements for Grimm's House seat.

Both Fossella and Malliotakis have indicated a willingness to run for the seat, Staten Island Live reports. Democrat Assemblyman Michael Cusick also has said he will give "strong consideration" to a run if Grimm resigns, Staten Island Live reports.

Catsimatidis knows his way around political circles, having run for mayor in 2013, but he lost the Republican nomination to Joe Lhota, who, in turn, lost to Democrat Mayor Bill de Blasio.

However, Grimm, when asked if he would resign after pleading guilty to one of 20 counts of tax evasion, told Staten Island Live: "Absolutely not. First of all, everything we're talking about here happened before I was in Congress, and for the past four years, I've been a very effective, strong member of Congress that has served the people of Staten Island very well."

The Daily News noted that Grimm, who beat Democrat Domenic Recchia in the election in spite of the ongoing federal investigation, was charged with hiding over $1 million in wages and receipts at his Manhattan health-food restaurant.

The Daily News notes that if Grimm held state, rather than federal, office, his guilty plea would mean he would have no choice but to resign.

"The bottom line is I'm the one that made a mistake as a small-business owner," he told Staten Island Live. "I'm the one accepting full responsibility for that. If you do something wrong, you can never fully get past it until you accept responsibility, and that's what I'm doing, taking full responsibility so I can close this chapter in my life.

"I know that some are gonna use this to demonize me. They're gonna use this for political purposes like they've done for the last three years.

"Now, as I begin to put this behind me with the comfort of knowing that the government is done criminally investigating me and that all these matters are closed, I remember the outpouring and encouragement of my constituents that I've been very blessed to have."

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New York billionaire real estate and grocery tycoon, former city mayoral candidate and radio host John Catsimatidis has called for New York Republican Rep. Michael Grimm to resign from office after the former FBI agent pleaded guilty to felony income tax evasion.
Rep. Michael Grimm, John Catsimatidis, tax, evasion
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2014-21-29
Monday, 29 Dec 2014 04:21 PM
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