You may recall that in Hiram Monserrate’s darkest days — back before the judge in his assault case let him off with probation — fellow state senator and member of the “Gang of Three” (which muscled the senate for favors last year) Ruben Diaz Sr. complained that there was a racist component in the chamber’s special committee investigation of the troubled Queens legislator to see whether the convicted senator is fit to stay in office. (Both the majority leader Malcolm Smith and Democratic conference leader John Sampson are black.)
Today Diaz upped the ante with a letter to Sampson and Republican leader Dean Skelos, which we have received and in which he says, “I must question your initiative in creating a committee to investigate Senator Hiram Monserrate when you have not done the same for Senator Kevin Parker.”
Parker, who’s been in trouble with the law a few times, went up on felony charges for grabbing a news photographer’s camera and ripping a panel out of the inside of his car.
Parker, who is thought to have been enraged by the Post‘s unfriendly coverage of him, had previously punched a traffic cop and verbally abused a security guard. He is expected in court to resume his case on December 9.
“As you know,” Diaz’s letter states, “my distinguished and Honorable Senators, Senator Kevin Parker has also been convicted of a misdemeanor assault against a NYC Parking Violations employee and is awaiting disposition of a SECOND assault charge against a New York Post reporter. Senator Parker was ordered to take anger management classes after the first assault. He is trying to plea bargain the second assault to another misdemeanor.”
In addition to straight outrage, Diaz also uses a legalistic argument, declaring that while Monserrate “was convicted of a misdemeanor that occurred prior to joining the New York State Senate,” Parker “assaulted the PVB employee and the New York Post reporter while being a member of the New York State Senate.
“It seems to me that if you compare Senator Monserrate’s incident vs.
Parker’s two assault charges, Monserrate looks much better to serve than
Parker,” says Diaz.
As is his wont, Senator Diaz ends with a rhetorical flourish: “The Romans used to say back in those days that ‘Cesar’s wife should not only be pure, but she must also have the appearance of purity.'” (We expect he means Julius Caesar, not somebody named Cesar.) “I do not expect anything less from you gentlemen.”