WASHINGTON — Rep. Michael Grimm plans to resign from Congress in the wake of his guilty plea on a felony tax evasion charge.
Grimm (R-S.I.) said after he entered his plea last week that he would continue to serve in the House.
But he reversed course after speaking Monday to House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), who has taken a hard line on Republicans facing ethics charges.
“The events which led to this day did not break my spirit, nor the will of the voters,” Grimm said in a statement issued Monday night. “However, I do not believe that I can continue to be 100% effective in the next Congress, and therefore, out of respect for the office and the people I so proudly represent, it is time for me to start the next chapter of my life.”
He said he reached his decision “after much thought and prayer,” and that his resignation would be effective on Jan. 5, the day before the new Congress is sworn in.
Boehner spokesman Michael Steel declined to comment.
“We do not discuss private conservations the speaker has with members,” Steel said.
Grimm issued his statement after the Daily News first reported that he had decided to step down.
Before his plea, Grimm had been scheduled to go on trial Feb. 2 on charges of evading taxes by hiding more than $1 million in receipts and wages at Healthalicious, a Manhattan restaurant he owned before he was elected to Congress in 2010.
Despite the charges, Grimm easily won reelection on Nov. 4, beating Democrat Domenic Recchia 55% to 42%.
Grimm said during that campaign that he would resign his seat if a conviction left him “unable to serve.” After pleading guility he said that he still could serve. But on Monday he concluded his position was untenable, sources said.
Grimm’s resignation will mean Gov. Cuomo has to call a special election to fill the seat.
GOP candidates could include Staten Island District Attorney Daniel Donovan, who has faced scathing criticism over a grand jury’s failure to hand down an indictment in the Eric Garner case, along with Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis and state Sen. Andrew Lanza.
One GOP insider said Donovan was the early favorite. “He is lining up the support of the party heads,” the insider said. “It seems pretty clear he may emerge as the nominee.”
Malliotakis said in a statement Monday night that she is interested in running in the special election.
Democratic contenders could include former Rep. Michael McMahon and Assemblyman Michael Cusick.
Grimm’s sentencing is not scheduled until June 8.
Though sentencing guidelines recommend up to three years for a tax evasion conviction, Grimm’s lawyers are expected to ask the court to limit the penalty to probation.
In last Tuesday’s hearing before Judge Pamela Chen, Grimm pleaded guilty to one count of aiding in the filing of a false tax return in 2009.
In a document submitted to the court, he admitted to all the illegal conduct alleged in his 20-count indictment, including hiring undocumented immigrants and lying under oath in a deposition in 2013, when he had been in Congress for two years.