Monserrate Gets The Boot
by Holly Tsang
Feb 10, 2010 | 5200 views | 0 0 comments | 109 109 recommendations | email to a friend | print
State Senator Hiram Monserrate
State Senator Hiram Monserrate
State Senator Hiram Monserrate (D-Queens) was removed from office Tuesday evening after the New York State Senate voted 53-8 in favor of expulsion, a decision which stemmed from his conviction last year for misdemeanor assault against his girlfriend Karla Giraldo.

The Democrats now cling to a slim 31 to 30 majority in the Senate. Governor David Paterson announced that a special election to fill Monserrate’s seat will be held for March 16.

Monserrate’s colleagues made it very clear that they had had enough of the drama, which began with his arrest in December 2008, just weeks before formally taking office.

"This truly unfortunate situation has drawn the legislative body’s attention and focus away from the critical issues it should have been addressing,” said State Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr. (D-Queens). "For my residents and the people throughout the state, the Senate must get back to work on important issues such as our budget and the state’s fiscal crisis, property tax relief, job creation, ethics and campaign finance reform, the MTA's financial situation and proposed service cuts.”

State Senator Toby Ann Stavisky (D-Queens), along with the Senate’s nine other female members, voted in favor of expulsion.

“I feel Senator Monserrate, in committing and being convicted of an act of domestic violence, violated the public's trust and damaged the integrity of the Senate,” said Stavisky. She added, “ I could not in good conscience serve in the Senate alongside a man who treats women in such a deplorable manner.”

Majority Conference Leader John L. Sampson (D,WF-Brooklyn), who voted against expulsion, felt the decision was made in haste.

“While the Select Committee went to extraordinary lengths to conduct a full, fair, and thorough review of all relevant facts, evidence, rules, and procedures, I still believe the Senate should not have acted to expel Senator Monserrate while the appeal of his conviction is pending in the Appellate Division of the New York State Supreme Court,” said Sampson. “I would have supported expulsion if his conviction was upheld.”

Monserrate announced last Thursday the filing in federal court of a civil rights lawsuit challenging the constitutionality and legality of his expulsion.

The New York Times reported that Monserrate said he would run in the special election.
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