If he’s convicted on felony charges for assaulting his girlfriend last Friday, incoming state senator Hiram Monserrate will be forced out of his new seat. Unwilling to wait for the slow wheels of justice to grind, Senate Republicans will try to deny Monserrate the seat in the first place, the Post reports, via a resolution sponsored by Brooklyn’s Martin Golden. Monserrate’s out on bail and would presumably be available to claim his seat on January 1 before any state business, including this bill, could be done; perhaps the Republicans are betting he’ll backslide, defy the restraining order that keeps him from approaching his victim, girlfriend Karla Giraldo, and get locked up for good. Or maybe he’ll be seated, be thrown out, get a court order, etc., starting the New Year in Albany off with some excitement.
Monserrate continues to claim his innoncence in this matter, which he called an “unfortunate accident” in which he tripped while bringing Giraldo a glass of water, causing the injury to her face that required 20 stitches to close. His supporters are allegedly spreading the story that Monserrate found drugs in Giraldo’s purse before the violence, though it is unclear how this would shore up a defense of accidental injury.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on December 22, 2008