BROOKLYN (CN) - Convening a special election to replace the disgraced U.S. Rep. Michael Grimm is my call to make, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo told a federal judge.
The argument comes in response to a class action filed last week by voters who say they are being disenfranchised and lack representation in Congress after Grimm tendered his resignation to Speaker of the House John Boehner on the heels of pleading guilty to a federal tax-evasion charge.
In papers filed Tuesday, Cuomo's attorneys say the governor has discretion on when to issue a proclamation for the special election that would, under state law, trigger a special election no more than 80 days later.
"The New York state Legislature has not mandated any time period within which the Governor must call a special election," Attorney John Schwartz wrote for New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.
In fact, the state says, the governor recently said that he's in the process of deciding when to call for a special election.
"Failing to call for a special election within the arbitrary 30-day deadline proposed by plaintiffs is simply not the same thing as refusing to call for such an election altogether," according to the Thursday memorandum.
Grimm's guilty plea involved underreported earnings and hiring illegal immigrants at a Manhattan health-food restaurant he once owned.
The lawsuit by eight Staten Island and Brooklyn residents claims that Cuomo failed to uphold his duties to call for a special election within 30 days of the congressman's resignation.
Grimm, a former FBI agent, Marine and businessman, at first vehemently denied the counts against him, then recanted, copped guilty and ultimately resigned.
The parties will appear in court Friday morning regarding an order to show cause in the case.
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