New York District Plagued With Scandal

In early 2012, the New York Times reported that Grimm, a devout Catholic and former agent for the FBI, allegedly accepted illegal donations from members of an Upper East Side rabbi's congregation. Ofer Biton, an Israeli citizen and a top aide to the prominent Orthodox rabbi, Yoshiyahu Yosef Pinto, came under investigation by the FBI over allegations that Biton embezzled millions of dollars from the congregation. It is said that while campaigning with Biton, the Grimm campaign collected over $500,000 in campaign contributions.

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Grimm also declined an ABC News request for an interview.

Looking back further into the 13th District's controversial past, in 2008, then Congressman Vito Fossella's was involved in a drunken driving arrest that ultimately led to revelations that he fathered a child with his mistress. At the time, Fossella was married with three children. The Congressman did not seek reelection that year.

Fossella declined an ABC News interview request.

Adding still more to this long history of scandal, almost 35 years prior to the Fossella case, in 1974, the late Bertram Podell, democratic congressman of that same district, was indicted on federal charges of conspiracy, bribery, perjury and conflict of interest, based on his involvement in efforts to obtain route approval for an airline.

The indictment alleged that he received over $40,000 to use his political influence to win a route to a tropical island for a small Florida airline. Podell plead guilty to the charges serving four months and paying fine of $5,000. The former congressman died Aug. 17, 2005 at a hospital in New York of kidney failure.

When asked why he thinks politicians are loathe to explain their actions to the public, Long says that "the nature of how politicians handle their scandals has become more corporatized." Long suggests that the higher the level of politics, the better-equipped the team surrounding the politician is to handle it.

"My feeling is that politicians are erring on the side of silence so they can't get themselves into any more trouble," Long continues. "Even if they are itching to say something, those handling their campaigns convince them that speaking about their scandals simply won't serve them well."

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