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The bad boys of Congress had a pretty good year

If you're a member of Congress whose bad behavior drew public attention, you still may have had a pretty good year.

Perhaps the best example is Rep. Michael Grimm, R-New York, who pleaded guilty Tuesday to causing the filing of a false and fraudulent tax return. Although he was indicted in April by the Justice Department for mail, wire and health care fraud and perjury, among other charges, Grimm still cruised to a 13-point victory over his opponent in New York's 11th district during the midterm elections.

And in spite of that guilty plea, House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, is withholding criticism for now.

Rep. Michael Grimm indicted on 20 counts of corruption

"We won't have any announcements until the Speaker discusses the matter with Mr. Grimm," Boehner spokesman Michael Steel said Tuesday.

He is getting some pressure to resign, but it's all coming from Democrats at this point. Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-California, called on Boehner to force Grimm to step down. A Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee spokesman chimed in, calling Grimm's legal troubles, "a stain on the institution of the United States House of Representatives" and said Boehner "owes it to the constituents and the Congress" to oust Grimm from his seat."

So far, Grimm plans to stay exactly where he is.

Michael Grimm apologizes for threatening reporter: “I overreacted”

"Mr. Grimm will NOT be stepping down. He is committed to serving his constituents who recently reaffirmed their support for him in the November election," his attorney, Stuart Kaplan, told CBS News.

A senior GOP aide was also critical of Pelosi's demands that Boehner pressure Grimm to step down, noting that she stood by three other Democrats - Reps. Bill Jefferson, Charlie Rangel and Jack Murtha - who had ethics issues of their own.

There is no law prohibiting a convicted felon from serving in Congress, though the House and Senate have the authority to vote to expel any member they feel is unfit to serve.

For now, Grimm is the latest name on a list of members who are under investigation or have admitted to bad behavior (in addition to his legal woes, Grimm made headlines this year when he threatened to throw a reporter over a balcony in the Capitol for trying to ask him about allegations of campaign finance malfeasance).

Rep. Trey Radel will resign following cocaine charge

Not all members fared as well. Former Rep. Trey Radel, R-Florida, managed to resist calls to resign for awhile after pleading guilty to possession of cocaine, but ultimately had a change of heart.

Other members will be back for another term in spite of ethics violations or investigations of impropriety. Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska, was rebuked by the House Ethics Committee in June and ordered to repay $59,000 in trips and gifts he improperly accepted. He was re-elected in November. Rep. Judy Chu, D-California, was recently rebuked by the panel for interfering with an investigation into whether she broke the rules by having her congressional staff work on her campaign. Despite the ongoing investigation, she won re-election as well.

Rep. Bobby Rush, D-Illinois, is under investigation for accepting free office space in Chicago's south side for years rent-free. An Office of Congressional Ethics report says that he's accumulated about $365,040 in unpaid rent on the space since 1989, in violation of Illinois state law, House rules and federal law. But it looks like Rush will retain his seat, even in the face of the ongoing ethics probe. Rush, a former Black Panther, is the only person who has ever defeated President Obama in a political election.

Rep. Ed Whitfield, R-Kentucky, also faces some ethics issues, because his wife, who is a registered lobbyist for the Humane Society, lobbied on legislation including animal welfare bills that he sponsored or co-sponsored. She also contacted his congressional staff in connection with her efforts, and the pair held joint meetings with other congressional offices relating to legislation she lobbied. Under House rules, lawmakers' spouses are banned from lobbying them or their offices.

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