Michael Grimm (politician)
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 11th district
January 3, 2013
|Preceded by||Yvette Clarke|
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 13th district
January 3, 2011 – January 3, 2013
|Born||Michael Gerard Grimm
February 7, 1970
New York City, New York, U.S.
|Residence||Staten Island, New York, U.S.|
|Alma mater||Baruch College (B.B.A.)
New York Law School (J.D.)
|Occupation||U.S. Marine (1989–1990; 1990–1991)
U.S. Marine reservist (1990; 1991–1997)
FBI special agent
|Profession||FBI special agent, entrepreneur|
|Allegiance||United States of America|
|Service/branch||United States Marine Corps|
|Years of service||1989–1990; 1990–1991 (active)
1990; 1991–1997 (reserve)
|Unit||U.S. Marine Corps Reserve|
|Battles/wars||Persian Gulf War|
|Awards|| Combat Action Ribbon
Navy Unit Commendation
Meritorious Unit Commendation
Michael Gerard Grimm (born February 7, 1970) is the United States Representative for New York's 11th congressional district, serving since 2011. Numbered as the 13th District during his first term, the district consists of Staten Island and parts of Brooklyn. Grimm is a member of the Republican Party and is the only Republican representing a significant portion of New York City. He is a former FBI agent, businessman, attorney, and U.S. Marine, having served in the Persian Gulf War.
- 1 Early life and education
- 2 Career
- 2.1 Federal Bureau of Investigation (1991–2006)
- 2.2 Business and finance (2006–2010)
- 2.3 U.S. House of Representatives (2011–present)
- 2.3.1 Elections
- 2.3.2 Tenure
- 2.3.3 Committee assignments
- 2.3.4 Caucus memberships
- 3 Federal criminal investigation
- 4 Personal life
- 5 References
- 6 External links
Early life and education
Grimm entered active duty with the U.S. Marine Corps in 1989. In 1990, he was deployed overseas as part of the 6th Communication Battalion. He received a combat promotion to corporal, and was awarded the Combat Action Ribbon, Navy Unit Commendation, the Meritorious Unit Commendation, among other awards.
Grimm received a BBA in accounting from Baruch College in 1994. He transferred to the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve and was discharged from service in 1997. He received a Juris Doctor (magna cum laude) from New York Law School in 2002.
Federal Bureau of Investigation (1991–2006)
Grimm entered the FBI as a clerk in 1991. In 1995, he entered the FBI Academy in Quantico Station, Virginia. He graduated as a special agent and was certified to become an undercover agent. He transitioned into undercover agent work, eventually working in the FBI Gambino Squad and was responsible for learning about the inside activities of Peter Gotti, John Gotti's brother. Grimm worked for the FBI as an agent for 9 years.
In 2011, Evan Ratliff, writing for The New Yorker, reported that Grimm had been the subject of an internal investigation into allegations he abused his authority as a FBI agent in a nightclub in 1999. The New York Police Department and U.S. Justice Department have not released documents regarding the alleged incident.
During his time with the FBI, Grimm spent two years posing as a small cap stocks broker, uncovering white-collar criminals on Wall Street. According to Grimm, the firm was involved in money laundering, making false trades, and manipulating stocks. After building a strong case for two years, he and the firm's partners were arrested together, at which point, the police informed the group that they had been infiltrated by an undercover agent. Grimm stated in 2011 that he has long been aware of the possibility that people may try to take revenge on him. He left the FBI in 2006, citing his exhaustion from working long hours.
Business and finance (2006–2010)
Before joining the FBI, Grimm worked for a year for Whale Securities, an investment banking firm. After doing undercover work on Wall Street, but while still a federal agent, Grimm invested in Texas luxury real estate with former agent Carlos Luquis. In 2006, Grimm founded a small health food restaurant called Healthalicious in Manhattan. He has co-owned and served as principal and chief executive officer of Austin Refuel Transport, an Austin, Texas-based bio-fuel company. As of 2011, Grimm owned 28% of the company, though he is no longer involved in daily operations nor is he CEO. In July 2011, the New York Daily News reported that Austin Refuel Transport had received eleven safety violations in two U.S. Department of Transportation checkups. Grimm’s spokesman said that he now "has no authority or managerial role in the daily activities of the company. He is simply a silent investor."
U.S. House of Representatives (2011–present)
Grimm launched his campaign for the 13th New York Congressional District seat on January 23, 2010. Grimm was endorsed by former NYC mayor Rudy Giuliani as well as Guy Molinari, a former U.S. Representative and Staten Island Borough President. He was also endorsed by the Conservative Party of New York State. He was challenged by Michael Allegretti who was endorsed by former six term U.S. Representative Vito Fossella, the Staten Island Republican Party, State Senator Andrew Lanza, and State Assemblyman Lou Tobacco. Allegretti worked for the nonprofit Climate Group and cited his relationships with NYC Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair. Grimm chose not to even contest the Staten Island's party endorsement because of their “corrupt political culture” and “sham convention."
The primary was marked by bitter negative attacks, including one assertion by Allegretti that Grimm was "living a lie" for using a photo where he was wearing military badges he was not entitled to.[dead link] Grimm said he received military ribbons by means of an administrative error.[dead link] On September 14, Grimm defeated Allegretti 69%–31%.
Grimm's primary win was divisive for the Republican Party leadership, which was more in favor of Allegretti. Grimm's campaign gained national attention from the Tea Party and the National Republican Congressional Committee, which contributed $90,000 to Grimm's campaign. He received endorsements from high profile Republicans, including Giuliani, John McCain, Sarah Palin. and former President George H.W. Bush, who applauded his service in the Gulf War.
Grimm faced incumbent Michael McMahon in the general election. On October 12, the Staten Island Advance reported that it had been receiving emails from the McMahon campaign attacking Grimm's business credentials. The emails claimed that Grimm's real estate and restaurant investments were failures despite Grimm's repeated insistences that they were successful. Grimm reportedly admitted in an interview with the Staten Island Advance newspaper that his former restaurant in Manhattan, Healthalicious, had been on the verge of bankruptcy, forcing him to sell his stake in it. A major difference between the two candidates was the issue of the U.S. economic stimulus package, which the Staten Island Advance said was the "starkest contrast" among the two candidates. Grimm stated that the stimulus was a "huge waste" of taxpayer money and was ineffective in generating job creation and economic recovery, whereas McMahon cited improvements in the state budget and renovations on the Staten Island Expressway and the Saint George Ferry Terminal as direct successes of the stimulus.
On November 2, 2010, Grimm defeated McMahon in the race by 51%–48%. The Staten Island Advance reported that Grimm won in large part due to his political signs, which became popular among his supporters. They stated, "McMahon raised my property taxes 18.5%".
After redistricting, Grimm's district was renumbered as the 11th District. He was challenged by Democrat Mark Murphy, a former aide to New York City Public Advocate Bill de Blasio. Grimm won re-election to a second term 53%–46%.
Grimm is running for re-election to a third term.
During an interview of all freshmen Republican members with Sean Hannity, Congressman-elect Grimm took exception to being asked if he was a conservative. He replied that he was "American first" and that "we have become way too polarized," indicating a desire for compromise with Democrats. Grimm did not join the Tea Party Caucus within the House, and instead joined the more moderate Republican Main Street Partnership.
Grimm was appointed to the House Financial Services Committee, which the Staten Island Advance observed as a major opportunity for Grimm to impact the debate on financial reform. Roughly 70,000 of his constituents were involved in financial services, making this a vital issue for his political profile.
Grimm introduced legislation that would require potential whistleblowers to report wrongdoing to their employers before reporting it to the Securities and Exchange Commission if they want to receive a cash reward from the SEC.
Following the shooting of Gabrielle Giffords in 2011, Grimm voiced support for "security-based situational awareness training", including how to spot suspicious people, when to run for an exit, and how to keep guards at close range. Grimm also said congressmen should consider carrying firearms. House Leader John Boehner called his suggestions an "excellent idea" and indicated that security would be a major focus for Congress in 2011.
Grimm voted to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in the House, as he had promised during his campaign. Grimm was challenged as being "hypocritical" by several Democrats for enrolling in the congressional health-care plan.
Grimm made Israel a strong priority during his term. Grimm was appointed to the House Republican Israel Caucus in January 2011, serving as co-chair. In February 2011, as House Republicans were pushing for deep cuts in discretionary spending, Grimm wrote a letter to Eric Cantor saying he would vote against any budget that would reduce foreign aid to Israel. Grimm was also named chair of the House Republican Policy Committee's Task Force on Foreign Policy.
Fundraising allegations by Rabbi Pinto
According to a January 27, 2012 article in the New York Times, several followers of Orthodox Rabbi Yoshiyahu Yosef Pinto said Grimm's campaign had accepted questionable donations. According to the report, three of Pinto's followers said that Grimm or Ofer Biton, a top aide of Pinto's, had told them that the campaign would find a way to accept donations that were over the legal limit. Grimm stated, "Any suggestion that I was involved in any activities that may run afoul of the campaign finance laws is categorically false and belied by my life of public service protecting and enforcing the laws of this country." 
Hurricane Sandy aid
In June 2013, Grimm stated that he believed water fees should be waived for survivors of Hurricane Sandy who had been displaced from their homes. Under New York City's Department of Environmental Protection rules, all homeowners are subject to a minimum charge of $1.19 per day, even if a home uses no water during a given period. Residents who had been displaced from their homes for long periods of time received water bills over $500 for damaged, vacant properties. Grimm called the bills "ridiculous," stating "That's $500 these people could use to replace a washer or dryer or refrigerator swept out to sea during Sandy."
Altercation with reporter
On January 28, 2014, NY1-TV political reporter Michael Scotto was interviewing Grimm in a balcony-hallway of the U.S. Capitol building, asking him about his thoughts on the recently concluded 2014 State of the Union Address. He then tried to question Grimm about a campaign finance investigation. Grimm stated that he would only discuss the State of the Union speech, and not the investigation. As Scotto started to mention the investigation again, Grimm walked off. Scotto then turned to the camera and implied that Grimm didn't want to face the issue on-camera. Grimm then appeared to intimidate Scotto, saying that he would "break (Scotto) in half," as well as threatening to throw Scotto over the balcony.
Grimm issued a statement defending his behavior, saying that he was annoyed by what he called a "disrespectful cheap shot" from Scotto. The next day, Grimm contacted Scotto to offer an apology for his behavior, which Scotto deemed to be sincere. He also issued a written statement apologizing for his behavior, saying, "I shouldn’t have allowed my emotions to get the better of me and lose my cool."
Flood insurance reform
In early 2014, Grimm and Bill Cassidy co-sponsored the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act. In March 2014, the bill was passed by the U.S. Senate and subsequently signed into law by President Obama. The law repealed exponential increases in flood-insurance rates for homeowners in flood-prone areas, preventing "skyrocketing" flood insurance premiums for 5.5 million Americans.
According to Politico, in April 2014 Grimm became "the first sitting House Republican to stop denying the science that humans cause climate change." Speaking about his views on global warming, Grimm stated: "The majority of respected scientists say that it’s conclusive, the evidence is clear. So I don’t think the jury is out.”
- Committee on Financial Services
- Friends of Switzerland Caucus (Co-Chair)
- House Republican Israel Caucus (Co-Chair)
- House Oceans Caucus (Co-Chair)
- International Conservation Caucus
- Sportsmen's Caucus
Federal criminal investigation
In August 2012, the office of the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York said it was investigating Grimm's 2010 campaign. In November 2012, the House Ethics Committee decided to inquire into the campaign but agreed to "defer consideration" of it at the Department of Justice's request.
In January 2014, the FBI arrested Diana Durand on charges that she had illegally donated more than $10,000 to Grimm's 2010 campaign. Durand allegedly gave the campaign $4,800, the legal limit, but then used straw donors to donate more than $10,000 illegally. The FBI also charged Durand with lying to federal agents about the matter. Grimm denied any wrongdoing.
The investigation, which originally focused on Grimm's 2010 fundraising, branched out to include Grimm's prior business dealings. On April 25, 2014, Grimm's attorney was advised by the U.S. Attorney's office that his client would be indicted on criminal charges related to Healthalicious. On April 28, prosecutors unsealed a 20-count indictment charging that Grimm and others concealed over a million dollars of the restaurant's sales and wages from both the U.S. federal government and the State of New York. Grimm surrendered to the FBI that morning. Grimm pleaded not guilty to all charges and was released on $400,000 bond. He told reporters that he not only had every intention of fighting the charges, but also of staying in office and running for a third term. Grimm's case is slated to go to trial in October 2014.
- "Congressman Michael Grimm". Combat Veterans for Congress. Retrieved April 5, 2012.
- Kane, Paul (2014-04-28). "Rep. Michael Grimm, facing federal charges, surrenders to FBI". Washington Post. Retrieved 24 July 2014.
- "Rep. Michael G. Grimm (R-N.Y.)". Roll Call. Congressional Quarterly. Retrieved 24 July 2014.
- Clifford, Stephanie (2014-04-29). "Grimm, Staten Island Congressman, Is Indicted on Fraud Charges". New York Times.
- Algar, Selim (2014-07-21). "Grimm’s trial could begin 1 month before election". New York Post. Retrieved 24 July 2014.
- Staten Island Advance/Jan Somma-Hammel (2010-11-04). "Michael Grimm, now congressman-elect, is living his fairy tale". SILive.com. Retrieved 2014-07-15.
- Barnard, Anne (3/8/12). "Rising G.O.P. Star From Staten Island Draws on Political Gifts to Fend Off Critics". New York Times. Retrieved 3 July 2014.
- "Electing Fiscal Conservatives". Combat Veterans For Congress. 2014-06-24. Retrieved 2014-07-15.
- Colon, Alicia (2010-06-06). "Inexplicable behavior by the Island GOP chairman". SILive.com. Retrieved 2014-01-29.
- Saltonstall, David (November 14, 2009). "Ex-undercover Mafia buster, Michael 'Mikey Suits' Grimm, seeks Staten Island congressional seat". New York Daily News. Retrieved April 5, 2012.
- Ratliff, Evan (May 2, 2011). "The Mark: The F.B.I. Needs Informants, but What Happens When They Go Too Far?". New Yorker. Retrieved January 29, 2014.
- Ratliff, Evan (April 29, 2011). "Congressman Grimm and the Night Club". The New Yorker. Retrieved April 5, 2012.
- Tracy, Thomas (April 28, 2011). "DeBlasio to Grimm: Come clean about 1999 bar fight". The Brooklyn Paper. Retrieved April 5, 2012.
- Smith, Ben (April 25, 2011). "The FBI agent and the night club". Politico. Retrieved April 5, 2012.
- Paybarah, Azi (April 25, 2011). "‘Guy With a Gun…Doesn’t Need to Say Anything’". The New York Observer. Retrieved April 5, 2012.
- "Meet the Undercover FBI Agent-Turned-Freshman Congressman – Rep. Michael Grimm – Fox Nation". Fox News. January 19, 2011.
- Heil, Emily (January 12, 2011). "Threats Not New for Former Lawmen". Roll Call. Retrieved April 5, 2012.
- Randall, Judy L. (July 11, 2010). "Gulf War vet, former FBI agent has 'a burning desire to serve'". Staten Island Advance. Retrieved April 5, 2012.
- Cowan, Alison Leigh; Barnard, Anne; Rashbaum, William K. (Feb 15, 2012). "Congressman's Business Ties Are at Odds with Upright Image". N.Y. Times. Retrieved Sep 18, 2013.
- "Company Overview of Whale Securities Co., L.P.". Bloomberg Businessweek. Retrieved Sep 18, 2013.
- "Michael Grimm (R-N.Y.) – The Washington Post". Whorunsgov.com. Retrieved April 5, 2012.
- "About Me: Full Biography". Grimm.house.gov. Retrieved April 5, 2012.
- Lesser, Benjamin (July 17, 2011). "Holiday shopping: Tips to find the best deals on Cyber Monday 2010". Daily News (New York).
- Lesser, Benjamin (7/17/11). "Rep. Michael Grimm's trucking business racks up toxic safety violations, raises interest questions". NY Daily News. Retrieved 3 July 2014.
- Wrobleski, Tom (January 23, 2010). "Republican Michael Grimm launches campaign against McMahon on Staten Island". Staten Island Advance. Retrieved April 5, 2012.
- "Former Mayor Rudy Giuliani to endorse GOP congressional candidate Michael Grimm". Staten Island Advance. February 18, 2010. Retrieved April 5, 2012.
- Saltonstall, David (May 28, 2010). "Staten Island GOP Committee Endorses Michael Allegretti for Vito Fossella's Old Congressional Seat". N.Y. Daily News.
- Wroblewski, Tom (June 4, 2010). "Allegretti Collects Endorsements from Lanza and Tobacco". Staten Island Advance.
- Hernandez, Raymond (Oct 23, 2009). "The City: Fight for Staten Island". N.Y. Times.
- Slajda, Rachel (May 28, 2010). "Staten Island GOP, Deprived of Fossella, Chooses Allegretti". TPM.
- Katz, Celeste (September 2, 2010). "Michaels Allegretti and Grimm Clash Again Over Military History In NY-13". New York Daily News. Retrieved April 5, 2012.
- Freedlander, David (August 31, 2010). "Allegretti Asks Grimm To Reveal Himself". Observer.com. Retrieved April 5, 2012.
- "Ourcampaigns.com". Ourcampaigns.com. Retrieved 2014-07-15.
- Wrobleski, Tom (October 6, 2010). "Staten Island GOP's endorsement of Grimm is less than resounding". Staten Island Advance. Retrieved April 5, 2012.
- "TheDC Interview: Republican New York congressional candidate Michael Grimm". Daily Caller. October 21, 2010. Retrieved April 5, 2012.
- Spencer, Peter N. (October 29, 2010). "Giuliani buoys Grimm at Whitehall Ferry Terminal". Staten Island Advance. Retrieved April 5, 2012.
- [dead link]
- Chen, David W. (Sep 15, 2010). "Results Are Mixed for Tea Party in New York". New York Times.(coverage of the Grimm vs. McMahon race)
- Wrobleski, Tom (October 9, 2010). "Former President George Bush endorses Michael Grimm". Staten Island Advance. Retrieved April 5, 2012.
- Randall, Judy L. (October 12, 2010). "Staten Island Rep. McMahon peppers Advance with e-mails that rip Grimm". Staten Island Advance. Retrieved April 5, 2012.
- Patten, David A. (Oct 24, 2010). "2010: Democrats Set Records for Dirtiest Election Ever". Newsmax.
- Wrobleski, Tom (October 11, 2010). "Stimulus dollars become political football in Staten Island congressional race". Staten Island Advance. Retrieved April 5, 2012.
- Wrobleski, Tom (November 8, 2010). "'Tax signs' may have helped propel Michael Grimm to victory in Staten Island congressional race". Staten Island Advance. Retrieved April 5, 2012.
- Randall, Judy L. (February 28, 2011). "Staten Island Rep. Michael Grimm: This is your life". Staten Island Advance. Retrieved April 21, 2011.
- "2014 Election Results Senate: Live Map by State, Midterm Midterm Races Races". Politico. Retrieved 2014-07-15.
- Wrobleski, Tom (February 1, 2014). "Timeline: Staten Island's Rep. Michael Grimm elected and re-elected, but dogged by allegations (w/photos)". Staten Island Advance. Retrieved February 5, 2014.
- FoxNews.com, Hannity's Freshman Focus Group, Jan 4, 2011, at 5:30 mark
- Freedlander, David (January 28, 2011). "NY Tea Partiers Join 'Moderate' G.O.P. Caucus". The New York Observer. Retrieved April 5, 2012.
- "Staten Island's Grimm lands spot on House Financial Services Committee". Staten Island Advance. December 10, 2010. Retrieved April 5, 2012.
- Kate Shepherd (May 11, 2011). "Republicans take aim at whistleblower rule". MarketWatch. Medill News Service. Retrieved May 13, 2011.
- O'Neill, Natalie (January 14, 2011). "Grimm: House members should pack heat if they want". The Brooklyn Paper. Retrieved April 5, 2012.
- Brooklyn Eagle, Bay Ridge Eagle Brooklyn, NY :: daily paper in Brooklyn[dead link]
- Tracy, Thomas (January 20, 2011). "Dems take on Grimm’s ‘job-killing canard’ in health care debate". The Brooklyn Paper. Retrieved April 5, 2012.
- Sisk, Richard (January 19, 2011). "Rep. Michael Grimm takes beating from fellow congressmen for his health care comments". Daily News (New York).
- Randall, Judy L. (January 31, 2011). "Rep. Michael Grimm named co-chair of House Republican Israel Caucus". Staten Island Advance. Retrieved April 5, 2012.
- Danko, Carol. "Grimm Stands Up for Israel; Opposes Cuts to Aid" (Press release). Washington: U.S. Congressman Michael Grimm.
- "Staten Island's Rep. Grimm named chair of GOP Policy Committee's Task Force on Foreign Policy". Staten Island Advance. February 16, 2011. Retrieved April 5, 2012.
- Cowan, Alison Leigh; Rashbaum, William K. (Jan 27, 2012). "Rabbi's Followers Cast Doubt on Congressman's Fundraising". N.Y. Times. Retrieved Sep 18, 2013.
- Vigliotti, Jonathan (2013-06-24). "Staten Island Sandy Victims Charged for Water in Vacant Homes". NBC News. Retrieved 24 July 2014.
- "Rep. Grimm To City: Stop Billing Sandy Victims For Water They Can’t Use". CBS News. 2013-06-22. Retrieved 24 July 2014.
- Thomas Ferraro (29 January 2014). "U.S. congressman apologizes for threatening to throw reporter over balcony". Reuters. Retrieved 23 March 2014.
- "Rep. Grimm Threatens NY1 Reporter Following State of the Union". NY1. January 28, 2014.
- Campbell, Colin (Jan 28, 2014). "Michael Grimm Threatens". Politicker.
- Larson, Leslie (January 29, 2014). "Rep. Grimm apologizes to NY1 reporter Michael Scotto". nydailynews.com. New York Daily News. Retrieved January 29, 2014.
- "Rep. Grimm Apologizes to NY1 Reporter For On-Camera Threat". NY1. January 29, 2014.
- Durrett, Clint (2014-03-21). "Obama signs bill into law preventing flood insurance rate hikes". WDSU. Retrieved 24 July 2014.
- Wrobleski, Tom (2014-03-13). "Senate passes flood insurance bill from Staten Island Rep. Michael Grimm by vote of 72-22". Staten Island Live. Retrieved 24 July 2014.
- Goode, Darren (2014-04-25). "Grimm’s woes cast cloud on climate turnabout". Politico. Retrieved 24 July 2014.
- Harrison, Timothy (2014-04-25). "Rep. Grimm endorses climate change science, dropping previous skepticism, after Hurricane Sand". Staten Island Live. Retrieved 24 July 2014.
- Cowan, Alison Leigh; Rashbaum, William K. (Aug 8, 2012). "Congressman's Report of Trip Is at Issue". N.Y. Times. Retrieved Sep 18, 2013.
- Cowan, Alison Leigh (Nov 26, 2012). "Ethics Panel to Scrutinize Congressman from S.I.". N.Y. Times. Retrieved Sep 18, 2013.
- "New York Rep. Michael Grimm threatens reporter after being asked about fundraising allegations". New York Daily News. Jan 29, 2014. Retrieved Jan 30, 2014.
- Rashbaum, William K. (Jan 2014). "F.B.I. Arrests Fund-Raiser for Congressman". The New York Times. Retrieved January 14, 2014.
- Rashbaum, William (2014-04-26). "Indictment Expected for Grimm, Staten Island Congressman". New York Times.
- Evan Perez; Shimon Prokupecz (2014-04-25). "Feds close to filing charges against Rep. Michael Grimm, officials say". CNN.
- "Rep. Michael Grimm, facing federal charges, surrenders to FBI". The Washington Post. April 28, 2014.
- "Staten Island Rep. Michael Grimm Pleads Not Guilty To 20-Count Indictment". WCBS (AM)/WINS. 2014-04-28.
|Find more about Michael Grimm (politician) at Wikipedia's sister projects|
|Media from Commons|
|Quotations from Wikiquote|
- Official website
- Michael Grimm for Congress
- Biography at the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress
- Profile at Project Vote Smart
- Financial information (federal office) at the Federal Election Commission
- Legislation sponsored at The Library of Congress
|United States House of Representatives|
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 11th congressional district
January 3, 2011 – present (district was formerly numbered 13th)
|United States order of precedence (ceremonial)|
|United States Representatives by seniority