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Tracing the congressman’s temper - Brooklyn Paper

Tracing the congressman’s temper

Rep. Michael Grimm (R–Bay Ridge) said he’d take on his party’s leadership to ensure Brooklyn gets the disaster relief it needs following last weekend’s hurricane.
Community Newspaper Group / Dan MacLeod

Hot-headed Rep. Michael Grimm’s scrape with NY1 reporter Michael Scotto may not have been the first time his temper got the best of him in public. Stories about the Bay Ridge congressman’s volatile demeanor have followed him for years, so we have rounded up the Republican’ greatest hits:

• In 1999, Grimm and a date entered a Queens nightclub called Caribbean Tropics — apparently unaware that the woman’s estranged husband was inside, according the New Yorker magazine. The spurned hubby accosted the then-Federal Bureau of Investigations agent, and a heated exchange ensued where Grimm allegedly warned “He don’t know who he’s f—— with. I’ll f—— make him disappear where nobody will find him.” Grimm then left, and reportedly returned later with a gun, screaming “I’m gonna f—— kill him.” Grimm allegedly then left again, and returned a third time with a fellow g-man and a group of police officers and declared the Feds were taking control of the scene. To locate the husband, he reportedly ordered “All the white people get out of here.” Grimm denied the incident took place.

• In 2012, at a meeting of the Bensonhurst West End Community Council, several residents in attendance demanded to know how Grimm could represent their largely Democratic neighborhood when he was a “Tea-Party Republican.” The critics attempted to talk over the Congressman, causing him to become visibly angry.

“You asked me a question, let me answer it,” Grimm snapped. “I’ve earned that respect.”

• At a 2012 forum at the Dyker Civic Association, Jonathan Yedin — the former chief-of-staff to Rep. Micheal McMahon, who Grimm unseated in 2010 — questioned the ongoing investigation into Grimm’s fund-raising practices. Grimm began to respond, and Yedin interrupted, causing the legislator to lash out.

“Have a little respect. And if you don’t have any, I’d be happy to teach it to you,” Grimm said.

Yedin said he was aghast at the incident afterward.

“Congressman Grimm came to a public meeting to campaign and answer questions about why he deserved to get our votes. Yet when I asked him for a simple explanation, he exploded and physically threatened me,” Yedin said.

Of course, Grimm is not the only politician to blow up on camera.

Who can forget then-Councilman and now Staten Island Borough President Jimmy Oddo’s outburst when a Norwegian comedy show attempted an “Ali-G”-style interview, only to have the Republican representative completely lose his cool.

“Get the f—- out of my office! What the f— is this?” Oddo screamed when he realized what was going on and demanded his staff remove the phoney news crew from his Staten Island office.

Reach reporter Will Bredderman at wbredderman@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4507. Follow him at twitter.com/WillBredderman.

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