Rep. Michael Grimm Sought Leniency For Bribery Suspect

Rep. Michael Grimm (R-NY) asked a federal judge in 2008 to pass a lenient sentence on bribery suspect Thomas Kontogiannis, according to a report in the New York Daily News. Grimm asked a California judge to pass a “noncustodial” sentence, which would not require jail time, on Kontogiannis, who was conviced of funneling $1 million in bribes to Rep. Randy Cunningham (R-CA). As Grimm, who had recently retired as an FBI agent and had not yet entered Congress, noted in a three-page letter, Kontogiannis “consistently provided me with whatever I asked for to assist me in brandishing the appropriate ‘props’ to ensure my cover,” and “has learned a newfound respect for the latter of the law.” The judge rejected the leniency argument and Kontogiannis was sentenced to eight years in prison. Cunningham resigned from the House in November 2005 and was sentenced to more than eight years in prison for accepting bribes.

Zachary Bernstein