The U.S. House Ethics Committee opened an investigation into Representative Michael Grimm, a New York Republican indicted in April on 20 charges of trying to avoid state and federal taxes at his Manhattan restaurant.
The ethics panel said in a statement today that it voted on May 8 to form an investigative subcommittee to look into the allegations, though it will delay its probe at the request of the U.S. Justice Department.
Grimm, 44, who is seeking re-election this year, paid workers at his Manhattan restaurant off the books to skirt state and federal taxes and lied about it, federal prosecutors said.
Grimm was a partner in Granny Sayz LLC, which did business as Healthalicious restaurant on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. He held a 45 percent stake in Granny Sayz, kept two sets of books and concealed the under-the-table payments from payroll-processing companies, hiding more than $1 million in earnings, the government said.
Grimm pleaded not guilty and said the charges amount to a “political witch hunt.”
“Under the House rules, today’s routine announcement by the Committee on Ethics was fully expected,” Grimm’s attorney, William McGinley, said in an e-mailed statement.
It’s the second ethics inquiry into Grimm. In November, the panel said it was deferring its investigation into campaign-finance questions involving the congressman, also at the request of the Justice Department.
The case is U.S. v. Grimm, 1:14-cr-00248, U.S. District Court Eastern District of New York. (Brooklyn).
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