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Assemblywoman Gabriela Rosa Resigns, Admits To Sham Marriage For Citizenship

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- New York State Assemblywoman Gabriela Rosa resigned from office Friday, as she joined a growing list of corrupt politicians with a confession in court.

As CBS 2's Dave Carlin reported, Rosa (D-Manhattan) admitted to lying about her marriage to gain U.S. citizenship.

"I am a grown woman," Rosa said Friday. "I am responsible for the mistakes that I made, and that's why I'm here today."

With that, Rosa announced she was stepping down, moments after her emotional courtroom confession.

Assemblywoman Gabriela Rosa Resigns, Admits To Sham Marriage For Citizenship

The Dominican-born politician pleaded guilty to lying in an immigration matter involving the 1996 marriage to an American citizen, which paved the way for her own U.S. citizenship.

"I also regret that almost 20 years ago, I regularized my immigration status through an improper way," Rosa said.

Rosa also pleaded guilty to another charge that she underreported her husband's wealth in a 2009 bankruptcy filing.

"I sincerely regret not properly reporting money regarding my husband's earnings that related to the bankruptcy proceeding," Rosa said.

Rosa, 47, was born in Santo Domingo, and in 1994 she moved to the U.S. She got married in 1996, and became a U.S. citizen in 2005.

She made a failed run for office, but won her 72nd Assembly District seat in 2005 – representing Washington Heights, Inwood, and Marble Hill.

Rosa said had she not been an elected official, this might not have happened, 1010 WINS' Gary Baumgarten reported.

"I am an elected official and that was something that was attracted," she said.

Now leaving that post, Rosa said she needs to focus on her legal troubles and possible jail time -- along with medical issues in her own family.

"My family needs my immediate attention," Rosa said.

In a criminal complaint, the U.S. Attorney's office said Rosa paid her first husband $8,000 for a "sham marriage."

As part of a plea agreement, Rosa could get up to 18 months at her sentencing in October, Baumgarten reported.

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