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February’s been one grim month for Bay Ridge Rep

Brooklyn Daily
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Rep. Michael Grimm couldn’t find any love in February.

During the month the Bay Ridge Republican has deflected allegations that he broke campaign finance laws and did business with partners who have criminal records; had to deal with a recent staffer’s arrest; and then hired a new district director who played a role in a political patronage scandal that ended in a teenage girl’s death.

But the Bay Ridge Republican, a former Marine, has no problem firing back at his opponents.

Here’s a breakdown of his most recent battles:

• The New York Times alleged that Grimm and an aide to a celebrity rabbi bullied potential donors — some of whom were not US citizens — into donating thousands to his 2010 campaign, violating federal campaign laws.

Grimm says: “It’s disappointing that such a story was allowed to go forward without evidence. I have dedicated my entire life to honorably serving this country from the US Marine Corps to the FBI and have conducted myself both as a candidate and a member of Congress by the same high standards.”

• • •

• The Times also questioned Grimm’s record as a businessman, citing his ties to a former FBI pal who served 18 months in prison, his employment with a Wall Street firm that was frequently under fire from regulators, and his role as owner of a Manhattan restaurant that was accused of bilking its employees out of workers compensation.

Grimm says: “I have relied as a businessman on the same principles of honesty that have guided my service as a Marine, an FBI special agent and as a United States congressman. This attack is politically motivated, as my record as an effective congressman, fighting for Brooklyn, cannot be denied.”

• • •

• Police arrested Liam McCabe, Grimm’s director of community relations, after authorities said McCabe grabbed his teenage son by the arm and shook him. The teen was caught with pot, police say.

Grimm says: “These are serious charges that have not been taken lightly.”

• • •

• Grimm hired Fran Vella-Marrone as his Brooklyn district director — a woman who admitted to getting her husband a patronage job rehabing a Borough Park school in the 1990s. A 17-year-old girl was killed at the site when an unsecured brick fell from the building.

Grimm’s spokeswoman says: “He was most concerned with her reputation in the community when hiring her — which is exceptional.”

Reach reporter Dan MacLeod at dmacleod@cnglocal.com or by calling him at (718) 260-4507. You can also follow his Tweets at twitter.com/dsmacleod.
Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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