Jose Peralta Pushed Toward Empty Seat of Hiram Monserrate, Who Sues for It

Not content to plot revenge from an underwater lair, ejected state senator Hiram Monserrate has filed a federal suit to get his seat back. As he declared in his speech just before the removal vote, he contends he was denied due process, and his constituents denied proper representation.

The judge declined to re-seat Monserrate, but has scheduled a hearing for next week to determine whether or not to block the expulsion retroactively.

Meanwhile Christine Quinn -- and, it is assumed, several Democrats over whom she has influence -- are planning to endorse a candidate for the March 16 special election to replace Monserrate: Assemblyman Jose Peralta.

Among other Democrats said to be leaning toward Peralta: councilmember Julissa Ferraras, who was Monserrate's chief of staff.

Peralta, shown here inaugurating a public toilet at Corona Plaza, had already been endorsed by the Queens Democratic Party to challenge Monserrate back in October, when the senator was merely anathema and not yet history.

Peralta seems game; he told the Queens Gazette he'd be running for the seat before the expulsion went down.

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