Updated 01/12/2010 07:27 PM
NYS Senate Panel Recommends Punishment For Monserrate
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Officials tell NY1 that a State Senate panel is recommending expulsion or censure for Senator Hiram Monserrate.
Instead of a concrete decision, the nine-member bipartisan group is giving its colleagues in the full State Senate two options to consider – punishing Monserrate or removing him from office.
In the report, which has not yet been formally released, the commission is calling for a full vote on both counts. But so far, NY1 has been told, commission members could not agree on whether the first vote should be on expulsion, or on simple sanctions, which could include the loss of Monserrate's committee assignments, seniority and other perks.
This is all according to a source briefed on the commission's thinking. A spokesman for the Senate insists that the report has not been finalized.
When asked about the matter Tuesday, Monserrate offered little to confirm or deny the details of the panels' recommendations.
"I understand there has been no final report or consensus on the
matter. Today I was busy chairing a consumer protection hearing which we passed five pieces of legislation, three bills that I have introduced in the New York State Senate," Monserrate said. "I am here doing the good work that the people of the 13th senate district sent me. I'm hear working for the constituents I represent."
Monserrate was convicted of misdemeanor assault following allegations that he slashed his estranged companion Karla Giraldo in a jealous rage in December 2008. He was sentenced to three years' probation by a judge, but the question over his political fate still hangs in the balance.
New York Senate Republican leader Dean Skelos said Tuesday that he believes the Senate would vote to expel Monserrate; however, the Queens lawmaker says he will not give up his job.
Monserrate's lawyer says there is no legal foundation for expulsion.
Just last week, NY1 learned of a draft report by the Senate panel, which questioned whether Monserrate and Giraldo told the truth during his trial. The report highlighted several inconsistencies in Giraldo’s testimony on the stand and what she said prior to that, including before a grand jury.