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MOST CORRUPT: REPRESENTATIVE MICHAEL GRIMM Representative Michael Grimm (R-NY) is a first-term member of Congress, representing New Yorks

13th congressional district. Rep. Grimms ethics issues stem from his improper use of U.S. Marine Corps and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) insignia and imagery in campaign materials and his improper endorsement of a private security firm. Improper Use of Insignia and Imagery In May 2010, Rep. Grimm, an ex-Marine and former FBI agent, was a candidate in the Republican primary for the House of Representatives. 1 Rep. Grimms campaign used the FBIs seal and the Marines official eagle, globe and anchor emblem on an invitation to a campaign fundraiser featuring former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani. 2 Both the Marines and the FBI objected, and said Rep. Grimm had not obtained proper permission to use either image. 3 Susan Del Percio, Rep. Grimms campaign spokeswoman, described the use of the insignia as an unfortunate mistake. 4 Clearly, this will not happen again, Ms. Del Percio said. 5 Despite Ms. Del Percios promise, Rep. Grimms campaign used imagery linked to both the Marines and the FBI in campaign advertisements during the general election. In August 2010, Rep. Grimm aired television ads that showed him displaying his FBI badge. 6 A spokesman for the FBI said the agency would definitely consider that an inappropriate use. 7 The Marines, meanwhile, objected to a web advertisement showing Rep. Grimm dressed in Marine camouflage and carrying the text Send a conservative warrior to Congress. 8 Rep. Grimms campaign said viewers clicking on the ad would be taken to a page carrying a disclaimer explicitly saying the Marines had not endorsed Rep. Grimm. 9 Marine Corps Captain Brian Block said the disclaimer must be included on the ad itself. 10

Richard Sisk and Michael McAuliff, Thats a Big No-No: Pol Uses Marines, FBI Logos, New York Daily News, May 19, 2010. 2 Id. 3 Id. 4 Id. 5 Tom Wrobleski, GOP Hopeful to McMahon: Refuse the WFP Line, Staten Island (New York) Advance, May 20, 2010. 6 Michael McAuliff, Marines, FBI Take Aim at Ads, New York Daily News, August 7, 2010. 7 Id. 8 Id. 9 Id. 10 McAuliff, New York Daily News, Aug. 7, 2010.

Improper Endorsement of Private Company Sometime after his election to Congress, Rep. Grimm recorded a one minute and fortythree second testimonial for MG Security Services LLC, a New York City-based private security company. 11 The video endorsement was posted on the companys website as recently as August 22, 2011 (though it has since been removed) and on video-sharing sites such as YouTube. 12 In it, Rep. Grimm spoke about his close relationship with MG Services founder Manny Gomez, formed, he said, when the two men worked as FBI agents together. 13 Rep. Grimm also endorsed Mr. Gomezs services. 14 I would call him for advice or for help and I have and would continue to do so, he declared. 15 Twice during the video, the words Congressman Michael Grimm together with 13th District of New York City appear on the screen for several seconds. 16 Rep. Grimm did not list income from MG Security Services on his personal financial disclosure forms for 2009 or 2010. 17 Potential Violations Ban Against Using Official Insignia Under federal law, it is a crime to use any official agency or department insignia without authorization. 18 Further, absent the written permission of the FBI director, it is also a crime to use the words Federal Bureau of Investigation, or the initials F.B.I. in connection with any advertisement, broadcast, or telecast in a manner reasonably calculated to convey the impression of an FBI endorsement. 19 While Rep. Grimm may have made an unintentional mistake the first time he used the FBIs seal and the Marines emblem during his congressional campaign, continuing to do so after he was warned against it indicates a knowing and willful violation of the law. Code of Ethics for Government Service, Clause 5 The Code of Ethics for Government Service provides that government officials should Never discriminate unfairly by the dispensing of special favors or privileges to anyone, whether for remuneration or not; and never accept for himself or his family, favors or benefits under
11; MG Security Services LLC, Entity Information, Department of State: Albany, New York, filed November 12, 2008;
12; com/watch?v=5coX9kHz2AY. 13 14 Id. 15 Id. 16 Id. 17 Rep. Michael Grimm, Personal Financial Disclosure Statement for January 1, 2009 through April 30, 2010, filed May 12, 2010; Rep. Michael Grimm, Personal Financial Disclosure Statement for Calendar Year 2010, filed May 16, 2011. 18 18 U.S.C. 701. 19 18 U.S.C. 709.

circumstances which might be construed by reasonable persons as influencing the performance of his official duties. 20 Based on this rule, members should undertake for one individual or business no more than they would be willing to do for others similarly situated. 21 The Ethics Manual advises members to avoid becoming too closely affiliated with any commercial entity in order to avoid any appearance that they are accruing benefits by virtue of improper influence exerted from their position in Congress, or are dispensing special favors. 22 By recording a nearly two minute video entitled Client Testimonial for MG Services, endorsing MG Security Services and its founder Manny Gomez, which was featured on the companys website and YouTube, Rep. Grimm clearly violated the ban on dispensing special favors. Conduct Not Reflecting Creditably on the House House Rule 23 requires all members of the House to conduct themselves at all times in a manner that reflects creditably on the House. 23 This ethics standard is considered to be the most comprehensive provision of the code. 24 When this section was first adopted, the Select Committee on Standards of Official Conduct of the 90th Congress noted it was included within the Code to deal with flagrant violations of the law that reflect on Congress as a whole, and that might otherwise go unpunished. 25 This rule has been relied on by the committee in numerous prior cases in which the committee found unethical conduct including: the failure to report campaign contributions, 26 making false statements to the committee, 27 criminal

72 Stat., Part 2, B12, H. Res. 175, 85th Cong. (adopted July 11, 1958); House Comm. on Standards of Official Conduct, House Ethics Manual, p. 20 (110th Cong., 2d Sess., 2008 ed.). 21 House Ethics Manual, p. 350. 22 Id. 23 Rule 23, cl. 1. 24 House Ethics Manual, p. 12. 25 House Comm. on Standards of Official Conduct, Report Under the Authority of H. Res. 418, H. Rep. No. 1176, 90th Cong., 2d Sess. 17 (1968). 26 House Comm. on Standards of Official Conduct, In the Matter of Representative John J. McFall, H. Rep. No. 951742, 95th Cong., 2d Sess. 2-3 (1978) (Count 1); In the Matter of Representative Edward R. Roybal, H. Rep. No. 95-1743, 95th Cong., 2d Sess. 2-3 (1978). 27 House Comm. on Standards of Official Conduct, In the Matter of Representative Charles H. Wilson (of California), H. Rep. No. 95-1741, 95th Cong., 2d Sess. 4-5 (1978); H. Rep. No. 95-1743 (Counts 3-4).


convictions for bribery, 28 or accepting illegal gratuities, 29 and accepting gifts from persons with interest in legislation in violation of the gift rule. 30 By using the FBIs seal and Marine Corps emblem in the first place, but particularly for continuing to do so after having been warned that such use was prohibited by law, Rep. Grimm acted in a manner that does not reflect creditably on the House. Further, by appearing in a promotional video, endorsing a private security firm, Rep. Grimm acted in a manner that does not reflect creditably on the House.

House Comm. on Standards of Official Conduct, In the Matter of Representative Michael J. Myers, H. Rep. No. 96-1387, 96th Cong., 2d Sess. 2, 5 (1980); see 126 Cong. Rec. 28953-78 (Oct. 2, 1980) (debate and vote of expulsion); In the Matter of Representative John W. Jenrette, Jr., H. Rep. No. 96-1537, 96th Cong., 2d Sess. 4 (1980) (member resigned); In the Matter of Representative Raymond F. Lederer, H. Rep. No. 97-110, 97th Cong., 1st Sess. 4, 16-17 (1981) (member resigned after Committee recommended expulsion). In another case, the Committee issued a Statement of Alleged Violation concerning bribery and perjury, but took no further action when the member resigned (In the Matter of Representative Daniel J. Flood, H. Rep. No. 96-856, 96th Cong., 2d Sess. 416, 125-126 (1980)). 29 House Comm. on Standards of Official Conduct, In the Matter of Representative Mario Biaggi, H. Rep. No. 100506, 100th Cong., 2d Sess. 7, 9 (1988) (member resigned while expulsion resolution was pending). 30 House Comm. on Standards of Official Conduct, In the Matter of Representative Charles H. Wilson (of California), H. Rep. No. 96-930, 96th Cong. 2d Sess. 4-5 (1980); see 126 Cong. Rec. 13801-20 (June 10, 1980) (debate and vote of censure).