New York Congressman Chris Collins resigns amid insider trade probe

Rep. Chris Collins To Switch Plea To Guilty In Federal Criminal Case

Collins resigns: GOP Representative Chris Collins announces resignation today, amid insider trading charges, effective tomorrow

That's according to a spokesman for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who said Collins has sent a letter of resignation that will take effect when Congress meets in a brief session on Tuesday.

Rep. Chris Collins (R-NY) walks out of a New York court house after being charged with insider trading on August 8, 2018, in New York City.

The Republican congressman narrowly retained his seat in western NY in 2018, beating his Democratic opponent by less than half a percentage point. Several GOP candidates are likely interested in running for Collins' seat, whether for a special election or for a full term in 2020. He won the U.S. Representative seat for the 27th District in 2012 and was re-elected in 2014, 2016 and 2018. Voters elected Democrat Joe Morelle in both elections.

"I've not decided if I'm going to run for reelection". On the Republican side, Erie County Comptroller Stefan Mychajliw, Iraq war veteran and Medal of Honor recipient David Bellavia, state senators Chris Jacobs and Robert Ortt and attorney Beth Parlato are rumored to have interest.

Last fall, as he was under indictment, onetime Erie County Executive Collins staved off defeat at the hands of Democrat Nate McMurray by 49.1% to 48.8%. Various political indexes show the district leaning Republican.

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A federal court hearing is scheduled for Collins Tuesday at 3 Manhattan before Judge Vernon S. Broderick.

The criminal complant alleges the congressman tipped off his son and others to dump their shares of the company after a failed drug trial, saving them hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Collins, who was already facing a congressional ethics probe for his involvement with Innate when the bad trial news came through, did not trade his own Innate stock. "Makes no sense. How are these results even possible???" the indictment said.

Prosecutors alleged the trades allowed Cameron Collins, Zarsky and others to avoid more than US$768,000 ($1.13m) in losses.

Despite initial optimism about the trial, Innate announced on June 27 that the drug had failed to provide any significant benefit to patients, and Innate's stock fell 90 percent on the Australian Stock Exchange.

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Cameron Collins unloaded his Innate shares, as did his fiancée and Zarsky, in the days that followed.

Mr Collins' upstate NY district is overwhelmingly Republican. I've fought for conservative principles in Albany and worked hard to deliver on a high ethical standard.

"I don't think the citizens should have to wait almost an entire year to have a congressman again", said State Senator Chris Jacobs, who has been campaigning to replace Collins as the Republican candidate for NY27 in the 2020 General Election.

At that time, Collins called the charges "meritless" and tweeted, "Serving the people of the 27th District is an honor and a privilege". He was even overheard by reporters in January 2017 bragging on the phone "Do you know how many millionaires I've made?"

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