Apparently she really, really liked him.
The feds have arrested Diana Durand for allegedly using straw donors in order to funnel campaign contributions in excess of the individual limit to her former beau Congressman Michael Grimm as reported by Dan Friedman for the Daily News:
Durand's arrest is the latest to result from an ongoing federal probe into Grimm's 2010 campaign fund-raising. Ofer Biton, an Israeli citizen who helped Grimm raise campaign money four years ago, pleaded guilty on Aug. 18 to visa fraud as a result of the probe.
Grimm, a Republican from Staten Island, NY, spent a decade as a special agent with the FBI until leaving the agency in 2006. Grimm then opened a restaurant on the Upper East Side called Healthalicious with partner Bennett Orfaly, and federal prosecutors allege that Orfaly has personal ties to reputed Gambino capo Anthony "Fat Tony" Morelli who "is serving a 20-year prison sentence for racketeering and extortion in an elaborate tax fraud" as reported by Alison Leigh Cowan for The New York Times:
"Mr. Orfaly maintains constant contact" with Mr. Morelli in prison, [Assistant U.S. Attorney Anthony] Capozzolo told the court, noting that Mr. Orfaly "has visited him and engaged in telephone conversations."
One unidentified source claims that Morelli is "like an uncle" to Orfaly as reported by Mitchel Maddux and Dan Mangan for the New York Post.
Orfaly is not accused of any wrongdoing, and Grimm previously sold his interest in the restaurant and insists he was unware of Orfaly's supposed ties to Morelli. In the absense of any evidence to the contrary, Grimm should be entitled to the benefit of the doubt on his claims of ignornance. In any event, many citizens probably are not thrilled with the idea that a former G-man became involved with a business partner who allegedly has a personal relationship with a reputed mobster. It's just not the prettiest picture.
Grimm was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in November 2010, and easily won re-election for a second term in November 2012.
Further reading that may be of interest: