Not enough time has passed since state senator Hiram Monserrate was cleared of most serious charges in the alleged slashing of his girlfriend, so local politicians are obliged to keep on acting as if they might do something about the presence of the batterer in the chamber.
NY1 says the state senate majority conference leader, John Sampson, is convening a committee to figure out a “punishment” for Monserrate. (They already stripped Monserrate of his consumer affairs committee chairmanship when he was charged in March. Maybe now they’ll make him sit in the back, or use a broken chair. We seriously doubt his amigos in the senate leadership, with whom he shared a group hug in July, will do much more than that)…
Monserrate has his defenders in the chamber (actually, make that defender, singular — publicly anyway: Ruben Diaz Sr. says his colleague was “guilty of trying to do good by forcing his girlfriend to go to the hospital”). The majority of those office-holders who have made statements on the record about Monserrate call for his removal. Unfortunately, you don’t need all your fingers to count how many that is.
People with nothing to lose are slightly more free with their opinions. Mayor Bloomberg called Monseratte’s actions “disgraceful, despicable, deplorable.” Asked about Monserrate’s effectiveness when he was a city councilmember, Bloomberg said, “on some things he did in the end, he did, I think, vote in the interests of the city and in other cases no.” Presumably he considers Monserrate’s Willets Point cave-in to be one of his legislative highlights.
Newspapers join in the outrage. The Albany Times-Union and the Watertown Daily Times cal for Monserrate’s resignation. “How do we let such people anywhere near a legislature?” tut-tuts the New York Times.
As to Monserrate’s girlfriend/victim Katy Giraldo, who looks forward to reuniting with her abuser once the order of protection against him is lifted, most commentators treat her as a sap. But attorney and former partner-abuse victim Aisha Speaks sees her “decision not to cooperate with the Queens Co DA’s office as societal witness intimidation. She is young, dating this older (seemingly powerful) Brother and she is probably blaming herself for the stitches HE gave her… Why are we muffling our Sisters’ cries for help by encouraging them to return to their abusers without the abuser undergoing some transformation? ”
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on October 19, 2009