A senator convicted of assault after his girlfriend showed up at a hospital with a slash on her face should be expelled or censured, according to the report from a special committee set up to investigate the senator’s actions.
Legislative officials familiar with the report told The Associated Press today that the report into Sen. Hiram Monserrate will send both options to the full senate for a vote. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly.
Monserrate was convicted of dragging his girlfriend, Karla Giraldo, but acquitted of a felony. A felony conviction would have automatically cost him his job. Giraldo’s face was slashed by broken glass during what both called an accident.
Monserrate is a Democrat from Queens who last year temporarily joined with Republicans to stage an overthrow in the chamber. Democrats have a 32-30 majority and conference leader John Sampson controls the flow of measures to the floor.
Monserrate said today he won’t give up his job even if the Senate votes to expel him.
“I’m working here,” he said, noting he would be voting and chairing a meeting of the Consumer Protection Committee.
His lawyer, Joseph Tacopina, has said there is no legal basis under the state constitution for Monserrate’s expulsion.
Monserrate supporters also note that the assault happened before the former New York City policeman and councilman joined the state Senate.
A draft of the committee report in late December cited a section of the legislative law and maintained the Senate does have the authority to remove one of its own.
After the committee met late Monday, its chairman, Sen. Eric Schneiderman, said they were close to a decision and he hoped to get consensus among the five Democrats and four Republicans. Several declined to comment except to agree they were close to the end.
“The draft report has not been finalized, nor has it been presented to the members of the conference or discussed by the leadership,” said Austin Shafran, spokesman for the Senate’s Democratic majority. “We are not going to comment until the report is finalized and released from the committee.”
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