BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Chris Collins formally resigned as the congressional representative of New York’s 27th District. The Republican’s intent was made official during Tuesday’s pro forma session of the House of Representatives.
On Monday, Collins sent letters of resignation to both House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. That letter was read out loud on the House floor.
Collins pleaded guilty later in the day to two counts related to his insider trading case. In the year-plus since his indictment, Collins maintained his innocence and had pleaded not guilty.
Outside of Collins’ D.C. office, inside the Rayburn House Office Building, his name was still on the wall, and the office is still open for business.
Staff members said they will continue to operate the office, working for constituents and fielding their phone calls, emails, and mail.
Collins served on the board of Innate Immunotherapeutics Limited, an Australian biotechnology company. According to a criminal complaint, Collins learned of the negative results of some clinical trials for the company, and told his son Cameron about the results before they were released to the public, federal prosecutors say.
Also charged in the case is his son Cameron and Stephen Zarsky, Cameron’s fiance’s father.
Collins was elected four times to Congress in a district spanning much of Western New York, including the Buffalo suburbs and stretching into the Finger Lakes. Collins had not prior announced a decision about re-election, but three Republicans and a previous Democrat challenger had already announced runs in NY-27.
As to what happens now, the governor could call for a special election, or he could wait until regular elections are held in Nov. 2020.