Investigators Raid Home of Chris Collins’ Chief of Staff
Investigators probing the campaign and fundraising activities of Western New York political operatives on Thursday raided the home of the chief of staff for Republican Rep. Chris Collins, local new outlets reported.
State and federal law enforcement officials executed a search of the Akron, N.Y., home of Christopher M. Grant, 34, on the same day they gathered evidence from the homes of two other men allegedly connected to an independent political committee that may be the focus of investigation, according to The Buffalo News . A spokesperson for the New York State Police told CQ Roll Call the lead on the investigation is the New York attorney general’s office, which did not return a phone call. The attorney general has not commented on the case beyond confirming an ongoing probe.
“Chris Grant will continue to voluntarily participate in the investigation and I expect a quick resolution to this inquiry,” the congressman said in an emailed statement, responding to questions about the search warrant executed on his top aide.
Grant served as chief strategist and media consultant to Collins’ 2012 campaign, according to his LinkedIn profile, helping the Republican defeat Democratic Rep. Kathy Hochul, who is now the state’s lieutenant governor. Grant was hired in 2013 to manage and direct staff for the newly elected member, overseeing both political and official operations.
A source close to the congressman told CQ Roll Call that Grant will continue to serve as chief of staff.
Grant did not respond to an email on Friday afternoon.
Collins told ABC affiliate WBKW that there is no suggestion of wrongdoing on Grant’s part, saying the investigation focuses on former Erie County Democratic Chairman G. Steven Pigeon. No arrests have been made.
The 27th District was embroiled in scandal in 2011, when former Republican Rep. Chris Lee resigned after he sent shirtless selfies while soliciting sex on Craigslist.
Bridget Bowman contributed to this report.
The 114th: CQ Roll Call’s Guide to the New Congress
Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call in your inbox or on your iPhone.