Donovan blames primary opponent Grimm for heroin arrest complaint

Donovan blames primary opponent Grimm for heroin arrest complaint
© Camille Fine

Rep. Dan Donovan (N.Y.) is reportedly blaming his GOP primary opponent, former Rep. Michael Grimm (N.Y.), for an ethics complaint filed against him that claims Donovan intervened in the arrest of his domestic partner’s son for heroin possession.

Donovan has denied accusations that he helped Timothy O’Connell, the son of his partner Serena Stonick, get out of an arrest for heroin possession in Staten Island in 2015.

Donovan said that only someone with congressional knowledge would know that the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) handles such complaints, Politico reported on Monday.

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“I was a prosecutor for 20 years,” Donovan told Politico in an interview. “But you don’t have to be a prosecutor to figure out that weeks before my primary against my opponent, something that allegedly — falsely, but allegedly — occurred 27 months ago comes out now. A week ago, this [ethics complaint] is filed. I had an election in between there.”

Donovan said that he didn’t intervene in O’Connell’s arrest and that no one contacted him about the incident. He said he wants the OCE to move quickly on the case and wants the findings of the probe released when it is completed.  

"Donovan, while serving in Congress and as a former District Attorney, visited the 122 Precinct and used his position to illegally request that officers issue O’Connell and [a friend] a 'desk appearance ticket' instead of proceeding with normal arrest protocols," the complaint says. "This intervention allowed the detained to be immediately released from custody, as well as the records to be sealed."

Grimm, who hasn’t directly addressed whether he was behind the complaint, has called on Donovan and his aides to make their cell phone records public to determine if he or his staff was involved in the arrest.

Grimm served in the House from 2011 to 2015. He spent eight months in federal prison for tax evasion in 2015 and 2016. Donovan won a special election to replace Grimm in 2015 and now faces a tough battle to hold onto his seat.

Since he launched his campaign in October, Grimm has been attacking Donovan from the right and aligning himself with President TrumpDonald John TrumpDeWine tests negative for coronavirus a second time Several GOP lawmakers express concern over Trump executive orders Beirut aftermath poses test for US aid to frustrating ally MORE.

Republicans have largely backed Donovan as they expect a tough challenge from Democrats hoping to flip the seat.

Trump won the district by 10 points in 2016 after former President Obama narrowly took it in 2012.

The New York primary will be held on June 26.