Former Garner prosecutor sworn in to replace Grimm
© Screenshot/YouTube

Dan Donovan, the prosecutor who led the investigation of Eric Garner's death, officially became a member of Congress on Tuesday, replacing embattled ex-Rep. Michael Grimm (R-N.Y.). 

The House paused its evening vote series so Donovan could be sworn in by Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio).

In a brief floor speech after delivering his oath, Donovan thanked his campaign volunteers and supporters who voted for him to represent New York's 11th district.

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"I promise to make all of them proud through my representation of them down here as a member of the greatest legislative body in the world," Donovan said.

Donovan, the Staten Island district attorney, headed the investigation into the death of Garner, an unarmed black man who died last year after a police officer put him in a chokehold. 

A grand jury decided in December not to indict the police officer, who was taped on a cell phone camera. The grand jury's decision sparked protests across the nation, but it played virtually no role in the special election.

Many cops, firemen and public safety officers live in Staten Island, which is one reason political analysts suggested the Garner controversy didn't become an issue during the campaign.

Donovan easily won last week's special election over Democratic City Councilman Vincent Gentile. But Democrats warn that the general election in 19 months during a presidential year will be far more competitive.

Grimm faced a 20-count indictment for crimes including filing false tax returns, wire fraud, perjury and hiring illegal immigrants. He has pleaded guilty to one count of tax evasion.

The seat has been vacant since Grimm resigned less than a week before the new Congress started in January. 

Republicans now hold a 245-seat majority over the 188 Democrats. Two vacancies for former Reps. Aaron Schock (R-Ill.) and Alan Nunnelee (R-Miss.) remain open.