House Ethics Panel Defers Grimm Probe

WASHINGTON (AP) -

The House Ethics Committee has put its investigation of indicted Rep. Michael Grimm on hold so the Justice Department can proceed with its own probe of the lawmaker, the committee said Friday.

The 10-member committee, divided evenly between Republicans and Democrats, routinely suspends its inquiries when asked to allow a federal investigation to proceed.

Grimm (R-N.Y.) was indicted on 20 counts last month for allegedly evading taxes by hiding more than $1 million in sales and wages while running a small Manhattan restaurant. The charges arose from a continuing investigation of his campaign fundraising.

The Staten Island lawmaker pleaded not guilty after surrendering to FBI agents and was released on $400,000 bond. The former FBI agent and ex-Marine says he is the target of a political witch hunt.

Last week, prosecutors told a federal judge in Brooklyn that their evidence against Grimm included thousands of emails.