Michael Grimm ()
Former U.S. Rep. Michael Grimm of Staten Island has been suspended from practicing law in New York for four years in connection with his 2014 federal conviction for aiding in the preparation of false tax returns.
An Appellate Division, Second Department, panel gave him credit for time elapsed since his September 2015 interim suspension. He can apply for reinstatement on or after March 15, 2019.
Grimm’s suspension follows his disbarment from federal practice. In addition, a Connecticut court in 2015 suspended him for two years.
He had pleaded guilty in December 2014 to one count of aiding in the preparation of false tax returns. He was accused of underreporting more than $1 million in income, sales and wages from a restaurant he ran. He was sentenced to eight months in jail.
In Matter of Grimm, 2015-01784, issued Wednesday, Justices Randall Eng, Reinaldo Rivera, Mark Dillon, Ruth Balkin and Sandra Sgroi wrote that Grimm had asked for no more than two years’ suspension from the date of the interim action. In determining the appropriate sanction, the panel noted his crime did not involve a client or constituent, and he had a long-standing career in public service. Aggravating facts included giving false deposition testimony and that court-ordered restitution remains outstanding.
In January, Grimm appealed his federal practice disbarment to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, alleging a grievance committee violated his due process rights by disbarring him without a hearing. That appeal is pending.
Deborah Scalise, a partner at Scalise & Hamilton in Scarsdale, represented Grimm. In a statement released by the firm, Grimm said he accepts the Second Department’s decision and is “eager to start the reinstatement process once my suspension has concluded.”