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Prosecutors in Michael Grimm case want October trial date

Rep. Michael Grimm, center, leaves federal court in

Rep. Michael Grimm, center, leaves federal court in Brooklyn on Monday, April 29, 2014, after being indicted on a charge of mail, wire and health care fraud, filling false tax returns, perjury, obstruction of an official proceeding, hiring and employing unauthorized aliens and related charges, in connection with a Manhattan restaurant he owned and operated. Credit: Charles Eckert

Prosecutors in Brooklyn on Monday asked a judge to set an October date for the corruption trial of Staten Island Rep. Michael Grimm, forcing the Republican incumbent to face a jury a month before he faces voters.

Grimm, 44, a former FBI agent, was charged in April with hiring undocumented workers and evading taxes at Healthalicious, a Manhattan health food restaurant he owned. He has claimed the indictment was politically motivated.

Prosecutor James Gatta told U.S. District Judge Pam Chen that the case was relatively straightforward, and both sides should be able to prepare by October.

Defense lawyer Daniel Rashbaum, who just replaced Elizabeth Kase as Grimm's lawyer, said he needed two weeks to assess the case and decide if an October trial is feasible. Chen scheduled another status conference on Aug. 8.

Grimm, who was not present, is running for re-election against Democrat Domenic Recchia, in what is expected to be a competitive race.

Election Day is Nov. 4.

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