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Rep. Michael Grimm Threatens to Throw Reporter Off Capitol Balcony

The sub-headline of this story: Godfather Goes to Washington.

Michael Grimm seems to be letting the FBI investigation against his corrupt campaign finance practices get to him.  Just after the State of the Union address, Grimm took an interview with NY1 reporter, Michael Scotto.  At the conclusion, the reporter attempted to ask him a question about the federal probe and Grimm curtly walked off camera.  The reporter, addressing the camera, noted that Rep. Grimm had refused to discuss the allegations against him.  Then he passed the segment back to the studio anchor.  But while the camera was still rolling Grimm returned, and in a barely audible menacing voice (graciously amplified by NY1 techs) he threatens:

michael grimm muscle man

Rep. Michael Grimm “manning up” for his “boy-breaking” session with NY1 reporter, Michael Scotto

“What?” Scotto responded. “I just wanted to ask you…”

Grimm: “Let me be clear to you, you ever do that to me again I’ll throw you off this f—–g balcony.”

Scotto: “Why? I just wanted to ask you…”

Grimm: “If you ever do that to me again…”Scotto: “Why? Why? It’s a valid question.”

Grimm: “No, no, you’re not man enough, you’re not man enough. I’ll break you in half. Like a boy.”

It seems to me that Grimm is allowing his former association with the mob, both as an undercover FBI agent, and as a business partner with mobsters, to leak into his tenure as a member of Congress.  The GOP leadership may want to ask itself how much Godfather-type behavior it can afford.  Especially from someone as apparently crooked as Grimm.

Lest anyone harbor the illusion that Grimm was speaking metaphorically or that he’d merely gotten a little carried away with himself, read this chilling account of another Grimm-related incident in which he actually brandished a gun in a New York night club and demanded that all the “white people” in the hall leave.  This guy is a thug, pure and simple.  And the GOP should be proud of him because he’s doing to Congress what the GOP wants to do to America: milk it for everything it’s worth.

Grimm’s response to the incident didn’t do much to help his cause.  He speaks of his “annoyance” at the reporter and “taking him to task,” when the viewing audience can plainly see his almost sputtering rage, not to mention hear what was essentially a death threat:

“I was extremely annoyed because I was doing NY1 a favor by rushing to do their interview first in lieu of several other requests. The reporter knew that I was in a hurry and was only there to comment on the State of the Union, but insisted on taking a disrespectful and cheap shot at the end of the interview, because I did not have time to speak off-topic. I verbally took the reporter to task and told him off, because I expect a certain level of professionalism and respect, especially when I go out of my way to do that reporter a favor. I doubt that I am the first Member of Congress to tell off a reporter, and I am sure I won’t be the last,” reads the statement.

NY1’s political director demanded a ‘full apology.’  But how do you apologize for threatening to murder someone?  Gee, I didn’t really mean it.  I was only intending to break half your bones and let the buzzards feed on the rest of you?  Let’s let bygones be bygones, OK?

Let me remind you that Rep. Grimm fleeced followers of Rabbi Yoshiyahu Pinto out of $500,000 for his 2010 campaign, some of whom weren’t citizens and therefore couldn’t legally donate to a federal campaign.  I wonder whether, when the relationship went south with Pinto (who’s reputed to be a cooperating witness for the feds), whether Grimm threatened to break the rabbi “like a little Jew?”

Grimm told an Israeli TV interviewer that he first met the Rabbi after “doing a favor for a follower of his” during his undercover FBI work.  When the FBI or the mob tell you they’re going to do you a favor, keep you hands on your wallet.

Rep. Grimm is the sort of American politician Bibi and Sara love.  A tough guy who doesn’t take shit from anyone.  A guy who looks out for his own interest and throws his weight around when he has to.  A guy who doesn’t care what people think of him.  A guy who’s willing to get his hands dirty when there’s a job to do.  A guy, in short, just like contemporary Israel as represented by those charming folks running the place.  In choosing Michael Grimm as their ally, they get what they deserve.  And it does not reflect well on them or on Israel.

The crookedness doesn’t end with Grimm.  Seven of the largest donors to Eric Cantor’s last Congressional race were Pinto’s followers.  No word on whether any of them were promised green cards (as Grimm’s fundraiser promised Grimm donors) or were foreign nationals.

A little back story offered by a reader: I reported that Diana Durand, a Texas energy company executive, was charged with campaign finance violations.  She is Grimm’s ex-girlfriend.  It turns out that Grimm met her because he was CEO of a Texas biofuel company.  The energy transport company has a spotty federal safety record.  No word on who his “partners” are in that venture, and he wouldn’t say when asked.  Inquiring minds want to know.

This story is gonna get good…

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{ 10 comments… add one }
  • Oui January 29, 2014, 6:47 AM

    Offering a little support …

    Convicted felon Carlos Luquis was ‘point man’ of Austin Refuel

    The Daily News has reported that Carlos Luquis identified himself as “director” of Austin Refuel, the Texas-based company Grimm has owned since 2008. The paper said that Luquis left the FBI in 2003 and became head of security for the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), which manages the flow of electricity in that state.

    Luquis and five others were later indicted on charges of setting up bogus companies to bill ERCOT $2 million for jobs that were never done. Luquis was convicted of two counts in 2006, served less than two years of a 12-year sentence, and was released in 2008, just before Austin Refuel was incorporated.

    The paper quoted Texas business owners who dealt with Austin Refuel saying that Luquis, who sometimes spelled his name “Lukiz,” was the “point man” in their dealings and had put the company’s business plan together.

    Grimm told the paper that Luquis “is not, nor has he ever been, a partner in Austin Refuel,” and has never “held any ownership or any legal interest in Austin Refuel.” He said Luquis was Austin’s director of logistics.

    Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) press release – sentencing fprmer manager Carlos Luquis

    (August 3, 2006) – The Electric Reliability Council of Texas, Inc. (ERCOT) welcomed today’s jury decision sentencing a former ERCOT manager to 12 years in prison and ordering a fine of $10,000.

    According to an announcement from Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, Carlos Luquis was sentenced to 12 years on each felony charge by Williamson County District Judge Michael Jergins and will pay a $10,000 fine and make restitution of $205,000.

    “We welcome the news that justice is being served in the fraud perpetrated against ERCOT, said ERCOT President and Chief Executive Officer Sam Jones.

    The jury found Luquis guilty late Friday on two counts of engaging in organized criminal activity for theft and misapplication of fiduciary property for his role in what the Attorney General determined to be a six-man crime ring within ERCOT.

    “Let this case be a warning to any entity or individual that seeks to defraud our electric market, said Public Utility Commission Commissioner Barry Smitherman, a former prosecutor. “Bad behavior will not be tolerated and those that seek to perpetrate it will be discovered and brought to justice.

    Since the criminal activity was uncovered in early 2004, ERCOT has fully supported the investigation of the individuals who conspired to set up shell companies to commit fraudulent billing, Jones said.

    “ERCOT staff worked countless hours to provide documents and support to the law enforcement agencies investigating the crimes, Jones said. “We will always be grateful for the hard work of the Attorney General’s office and the Department of Public Safety and the continued support of the Public Utility Commission.

    Texas AG: Ercot Former Manager Carlos Luquis Sentenced To 12 Years For His Role In Crime Ring

  • Oui January 29, 2014, 6:54 AM

    Austin Refuel Transport
    3006 Bee Cave Road Suite A240, Austin, TX 78746
    Tel: (512) 961 7849
    www american-refuel[dot]com – 404 website can’t be found –

    From an Internet search link of Austin Refuel, a different company shows up:
    MIDWEST CONSULTING GROUP, LLC
    8800 JAMEEL RD STE 100
    HOUSTON, TX 77040
    USDOT: 2125535
    MCS-150 Date: 2-Mar-2011
    Total Trucks: 3 Power Units: 5 Total Drivers: 6

    WhoIs of domain name: american-refuel.com
    Registrant Name Sam Bosell
    Registrant Organization Pictoric Media Group

    Creation Date 01-may-2010
    Updated Date 30-apr-2012
    Expiration Date 01-may-2014

    Website design [?] domain name registered with Sam Bosell of PMG in Austin.

    • Oui January 29, 2014, 11:32 AM

      AUSTIN REFUEL, LLC [Inactive]
      Filing Date: 08/22/2008
      Filing State: Texas (TX)
      Domestic State: N/A

      Registered Agent:
      T. Alan Ceshker
      12400 Hwy 71 West, Ste. 350-252
      Austin, TX 78738

      Principal Address:
      12400 W Highway 71 Ste 350-252
      Bee Cave, TX 78738-6517

      Chief Executive Officer
      Michael Grimm
      50 Borman Ave
      Staten Island, NY 10314

      Key People: Maria Rakman served as the Member.

      Mike Grimm and Harold Rosenbaum jointly bought Texas property.

    • Oui January 29, 2014, 11:33 AM

      From corporate wiki, Mike Grimm was involved in KLG Developments LLC. Key persons named are: Mike Kloc served as the Manager Mike’s past corporate affiliations include Hill Castle Homes, LLC, Enertec Custom Homes LLC. The Manager of KLG Developments, LLC was Monica Luquis.

  • Oui January 29, 2014, 6:56 AM

    Previous owner of Austin Refuel is Barbara Jo Clem

    President
    MCG Transportation [!]
    2012 – Present (2 years) 8800 Jameel Rd, Ste 100 Houston, Tx 77040

    Owner
    Austin Refuel Transport
    February 2011 – December 2012 (1 year 11 months) Houston

    Via her LinkedIn profile, meet her contacts such as:
    Diana Durand

    VP of Fuels & Lubricants
    Truth Fuels & Lubricants
    Currently holds this position

    Vice President
    Sun Coast Resources, Inc.
    October 1986 – November 2011 (25 years 2 months)

    • Oui January 29, 2014, 8:16 AM

      Corporation Wiki – Barbara Jo Clem

      Barbara Clem is the Manager of McG Transportation, LLC and inactive roles in one additional company .
      McG Transportation, LLC filed as a Domestic Limited Liability Company (LLC) in the State of Texas filed on Tuesday, March 06, 2012.

      Barbara Clem is connected to other officers through these corporate roles. One of the top connections is Jennifer Bukowski [and Diana Kay Durand].

      Barbara’s past corporate interests include the Director of Midwest Consulting Group, LLC .

      Links to: Jennifer Bukowski and Diana Kay Durand.

  • Oui January 29, 2014, 11:08 AM

    Confirmed …

    Diana Durand, 47, of Houston, will be arraigned on Jan. 30 at 10 a.m., on the charges in Brooklyn federal court.

    (SI Live) – FEC records show that Barbara Durand Clem gave Grimm $1,000 on Nov. 13, 2009, and Montgomery Durand gave Grimm’s campaign $1,000 on Nov. 19, 2009. Like Ms. Clem and Ms. Durand, Montgomery Durand lists Monmouth, Ill., roots on his Facebook page, but it is not known for certain if the three are related.

    The FBI complaint against Ms. Durand said an unnamed relative of hers, called “Straw Donor #3,” donated $1,000 to Grimm on Nov. 19, 2009.

    Ms. Clem was listed as president of the Houston-based MCG Transportation company, where Ms. Durand was CEO, and the two also have an address in common, public records show. Ms. Clem was also an owner of Austin Refuel Transport. Grimm is the former owner and CEO of the firm’s parent company, Austin Refuel.


    Separately, in a 2010 interview that aired on Israeli television, Grimm said he met Rabbi Yoshiyahu Pinto after doing a “mitzvah,” or good deed, for a member of New York’s Jewish community at the end of an undercover case Grimm worked while with the FBI.

    The FBI is investigating allegations that Grimm, working with Pinto aide Ofer Biton, illegally raised money from the rabbi’s Upper East Side congregation in 2010. Grimm has denied the charges and has been accused of no wrongdoing.

  • Oui January 29, 2014, 3:40 PM

    Is Michael Grimm Man Enough to Serve? by Evan Ratliff

    (The New Yorker) Jan. 29, 2014 – Grimm denied all of these allegations—and did so again, later, through a spokesperson. He also called me a “liar” working on a “chop job.” “You don’t rate to come and question me on it, quite frankly,” he said, before dismissing me from his office. After The New Yorker published the story, in May of 2011, Bill de Blasio, the Public Advocate at the time, called for the N.Y.P.D. to release any files pertaining to the night-club incident—files for which I had also filed public-records requests. Those requests remain unfulfilled. Grimm, for his part, called the story “fiction,” “a witch hunt,” and “a hatchet job” perpetrated by the Democratic Party. For a moment, his past seemed to fade into the shadows as his Congressional star began to rise.

  • Oui January 31, 2014, 2:46 AM

    Your coverage of Mike Grimm received well deserved attention @Mondoweiss.

  • Oui January 31, 2014, 7:02 AM

    Interesting development … a plea negotiation and attorney Kaplan isn’t the right mix IMO. If I were in position of Grimm, I would announce not to run for re-election due to [Gambino] family matters.

    Texas woman in Grimm fundraising case has court date postponed, ‘in plea negotiations’ with U.S. Attorney, court papers say

    (SI Live) – STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — The Texas woman arrested by the FBI and accused of illegally donating more than $10,000 to GOP Rep. Michael Grimm’s 2010 campaign has had her initial court appearance in New York pushed back.

    And while court papers released on Friday say Ms. Durand is “engaged in plea negotiations” with the U.S. Attorney in Brooklyn, Ms. Durand’s attorney, Stuart Kaplan, said Ms. Durand’s side merely sought an adjournment in the case.

    “We just needed time to review the [case] file,” Kaplan said in an email to the Advance.

    Ms. Durand was set to be arraigned in Brooklyn federal court on Jan. 30, but the date of her first appearance here is now Feb. 12. She was arraigned in Houston federal court following her arrest in Texas on Jan. 10.


    Staten Island attorney Mario Gallucci, who has also worked in the federal courts, said the fact that court papers say Ms. Durand entered into plea negotiations “says a lot.”

    “She is actually contemplating admitting guilt to something,” he said. “They are looking for her to implicate Grimm. There is no doubt in my mind.”

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