More Democratic public officials are calling for state senator Hiram Monserrate, convicted of lesser charges in an attack on his girlfriend and facing a special state senate committee, to remove himself from office. Earlier in the week New York Senators Kirsten Gillibrand and Chuck Schumer suggested he resign. Today’s big name is John Liu, city councilmember and Democratic candidate for comptroller, who says “remaining in office at this time would be a remendous disservice to his district and his constituents.” He was joined in this opinion by Democratic state senator Craig Johnson of Long Island.
Senate minority leader Dean Skelos named the four Republicans who’ll serve on the committee that will consider Monserrate’s case: senators Cathy Young, Andrew Lanza, John Flanagan and James Alesi. Three of them are former chairmen of the senate’s ethics committee, which body, the Albany Times-Union recalls, Skelos thought should be handling the matter in the first place. Skelos went further and asked that a fifth Republican senator, Betty Little of Queensbury, be added to the committee to make the party representation even…
No word yet from Democratic conference leader John Sampson on that. Meanwhile the committee announced its outside counsel for the hearings: Daniel R. Alonso, a partner at law firm of Kaye Scholer LLP. Though he specializes in white-collar crime, committee chairman Eric Schneiderman says Alonso’s “experience as a state and federal prosecutor makes him the ideal candidate to assist this committee.”
The Queens Courier finds reaction in Monserrate’s home territory “split,” though his defenders seem more worked up about it than his detractors (“there was no evidence that I saw that was presented that [Monserrate’s victim] had any substantial pain or physical impairment,” says one man. “There’s no evidence that she missed work…”). Councilmember Eric Gioia, who ran for the Democratic public advocate nomination now held by Bill de Blasio, tells the paper that Monserrate’s constituents “deserve better representation than a convicted perpetrator of domestic violence.”
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on October 22, 2009