FBI Bars Congressman Michael Grimm From its Offices
STATEN ISLAND — Rep. Michael Grimm, who quit as an FBI agent eight years ago, was barred from returning to its New York field offices — even after he was elected to Congress, DNAinfo New York has learned.
Federal security personnel at the FBI’s headquarters in Lower Manhattan and a satellite office in Kew Gardens, Queens, posted Grimm’s photo inside their glass-enclosed stations in the event he showed up, sources said.
They were under orders to stop him and to immediately notify higher authorities on what further action to take, according to the sources.
“He is not permitted in our space,” one source told “On The Inside.”
“He is not welcome,” a former top FBI official said.
Last week, Grimm was slapped with a 20-count federal indictment that accused him of hiding $1 million in revenue at Healthalicious, an Upper East Side restaurant that he owned, as well as cheating on taxes.
Grimm has vehemently denied any wrongdoing and has vowed to run for re-election later this year to retain his congressional seat as a Republican representing Staten Island and parts of Brooklyn.
Sources said Grimm’s FBI identification picture was posted shortly after he resigned from the bureau in 2006 and it now hangs with about two dozen other ex-agents and federal employees.
"They are all employees who were fired, or they were under circumstances where they were forced out or felt they should leave, and all are no longer welcome back," the former FBI official explained.
Grimm’s spokesman said the congressman was unaware that his photo was posted at FBI security checkpoints and he had no idea why it should be.
Grimm insists that he left the bureau on good terms because he wanted to get married and start a family. That relationship eventually fell apart.
“False rumors and malicious lies relating to the congressman’s tenure in the FBI have been reported on since 2010 and have been repeatedly refuted," the spokesman said.
"Fortunately, the congressman has more than three years of a tremendous track record delivering real, tangible results for the people he represents — they are proud of him and he is proud to represent them.”
The spokesman also provided a letter on FBI stationery dated Feb. 16, 2012, that states Grimm "resigned his post in good standing with the FBI."
An FBI spokesman declined comment.
Grimm, a lawyer and a former Marine who served in the 1992 Gulf War, penetrated the Gambino Crime Family while with the FBI and unearthed evidence against John Gotti’s brother, Peter.
In this role, the hoods dubbed him “Mickey Suits” because of his penchant for flashy, tailored clothes.
He also went undercover in “Operation Wooden Nickel," during which he spent two years posing as a dirty currency trader, bringing down 50 white-collar crooks in 2003.
Sources said Grimm, 44, was under internal scrutiny before he quit over allegations that he told a woman he met during a probe that he worked undercover — a violation of FBI protocol.
The FBI’s Office of Professional Responsibility was also questioning so-called “voucher” expenses he submitted in connection with his undercover roles.
The sources believe the pressure of the inquiry played a role in his decision to exit the FBI — an agency he often professed to love, his colleagues noted — without getting a pension because he didn't serve 20 years.
Whatever the reason he left the bureau, FBI officials placed him on their “not welcome” list.
“Some of us thought it was kind of a joke after he was elected to Congress that his picture stayed up,” the former FBI official said.
According to his bio, Grimm joined the FBI as a clerk in 1991 and became an agent four years later. After exiting the bureau in 2006, he ventured into the private sector, launching businesses in Texas and opening the small Upper East Side health food restaurant Healthalicious.
He was elected to Congress in January 2011.
While becoming a popular figure and guest on numerous television talk shows, Grimm’s stint in Washington was not without controversy and turmoil.
An ex-girlfriend from Texas, Diana Durand, has been indicted in connection with alleged campaign finance irregularities. He also infamously threatened a NY1 reporter on camera, and later apologized.
The federal investigation that uncovered the alleged Healthalicious criminal activity is continuing, officials said.