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Cuomo Orders Special Election for Grimm’s Seat

BROOKLYN (CN) - New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo set May 5 as the deadline for a special election to fill the congressional seat whose last occupant copped to tax evasion.

Cuomo issued the formal proclamation Friday, a day after promising to heed the court's warning that the governor should call for a special election by Friday or U.S. District Judge Jack Weinstein would set one himself.

The ultimatum came after eight residents of Staten Island and the southern tip of Brooklyn, former constituents of disgraced U.S. Rep. Michael Grimm, claimed in a lawsuit that the governor's inaction caused them and 750,000 others in the 11th Congressional District to be disenfranchised and without representation.

Grimm, a former FBI agent and Marine, faces sentencing on July 8 after copping guilty to a tax-evasion charge for underreporting earnings and hiring illegal immigrants at a health food restaurant, Healthalicious, in Manhattan between 2007 and 2010.

New York has no more than 80 days to fill the vacancy.

Grimm, 44, at first faced 20 counts of tax fraud. He denied the charges, won his re-election, and initially tried to stay in office after copping to the charge.

In January 2014, Grimm made headlines when cameras caught him threatening to throw a reporter off a balcony.

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