Main | Tuesday, February 09, 2010

NY Sen. Hiram "Slasher" Monserrate EXPELLED By Fellow Lawmakers

Tonight Hiram "Slasher" Monserrate was expelled from the New York Senate over his domestic abuse conviction of last year, which stemmed from a broken glass attack on his girlfriend, leaving her with 40 stitches in her face. This is the first time in almost 90 years that a New York state legislator was expelled from office by fellow lawmakers. Monserrate earned the outrage of gay activists late last year when he betrayed his previous commitment to vote in favor of same-sex marriage.

New York state troopers were on hand in the state house tonight in case Monserrate followed through in his promise that he would have to be removed from the building by force. And it's not over yet.
Rather than bringing a close to Mr. Monserrate’s legislative career, the expulsion could be the beginning of a lengthy fight that would play out in the courts and create further instability in the already volatile political atmosphere in Albany. As the Senate moved forward with a vote, Mr. Monserrate’s lawyers were drafting a temporary restraining order seeking to have him reinstated. One of the lawyers, Norman Siegel, said the order would be filed Wednesday in federal court in Manhattan. “This case raises substantial questions concerning what a constitutional democracy is all about,” Mr. Siegel said. “The New York State Senate does not have the constitutional and legal authority to expel Senator Monserrate. And even if they did, their actions have not been consistent with due process of law.”

The expulsion followed roughly five hours of closed-door negotiations among Senate Democrats, though Mr. Monserrate was asked to leave the room for part of the deliberations. “Nobody was happy about this,” said Senator Eric T. Schneiderman, the Manhattan Democrat who led the special committee that recommended that the Senate consider expelling Mr. Monserrate. “But most senators on both sides of the aisle felt that we had to do something. The days of sweeping things under the rug are over.”
The last time New York legislators booted out a colleague was in the 1920s, when six members of the Socialist Party were expelled from the Assembly.

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