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In brief: U.S. Rep. Michael Grimm charged with tax fraud

Tue., April 29, 2014

New York – Republican U.S. Rep. Michael Grimm, a former Marine and FBI agent who’s been the target of a campaign finance investigation, was instead charged on Monday with evading taxes by concealing more than $1 million in sales and wages while running a small Manhattan restaurant – a case he called a political witch hunt meant to drive him out of office.

Grimm surrendered to FBI agents early Monday following a two-year investigation that initially focused on alleged attempts to bypass contribution limits. He pleaded not guilty through his lawyer in federal court in Brooklyn to mail, wire and tax fraud charges and was released on $400,000 bond secured by his Staten Island home.

The lawmaker, using a World War II memorial across the street from the courthouse as a backdrop, later accused prosecutors of leaking “all kinds of innuendos and accusations to support a political witch hunt” intended to “assassinate my character.” He vowed to return to work in Congress while fighting the charges.

Four killed when small plane crashes into wind farm

Sioux Falls, S.D. – A small airplane heading back to South Dakota after a Texas cattle sale crashed into a wind farm in foggy weather, killing the pilot and three passengers.

Elizabeth Cory, a spokeswoman for the Federal Aviation Administration, said the single-engine Piper 32 was traveling from Hereford, Texas, to Gettysburg, S.D.

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating, but authorities have not released any details on the crash.

The wreckage was found Monday at the South Dakota Wind Energy Center, a site south of Highmore with 27 turbines that are about 213 feet tall, plus the length of the blade.

Representative caught kissing aide won’t run in fall

Baton Rouge, La. – Louisiana GOP Rep. Vance McAllister, caught on camera kissing a married female aide, said Monday he’s failed his family, let down his district and doesn’t intend to run for re-election this fall.

In a statement, McAllister apologized for conduct he called a “personal failure,” and said he spent the Easter congressional recess reconciling with his family.

Though he won’t be on the November ballot, McAllister said he’ll serve out the remainder of his term. The married father of five children has been in office fewer than six months.


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