Leaders Demanding Resignation or Removal

State Senator Liz Krueger
State Senator David Valesky
State Senator Neil Breslin
State Senator Suzi Oppenheimer
State Senator Daniel Aubertine
State Senator Brian X. Foley
State Senator Martin Golden
State Senator Frank Padavan
State Senator Catharine Young
State Senator Betty Little
State Senator Jeff Klein
State Senator Bill Perkins
State Senator Thomas Duane
State Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins
State Senator Jim Seward
State Senator Craig Johnson
State Senator Tom Libous
State Senator Daniel Squardon
State Assemblywoman Patricia Eddington
State Assemblywoman Amy Paulin
State Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther
State Assemblywoman Francine DelMonte
State Assemblyman Adriano Espaillat
State Assemblywoman Vivian Cook
State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver
US Senator Charles Schumer
US Senator Kirsten Gillibrand
Mayor Michael Bloomberg
City Comptroller Bill Thompson
Public Advocate Betsy Gotbaum
Congressman Joseph Crowley
Congressman Eric Massa
Congressman John Hall
Congresswoman Louise Slaughter
NYS Democratic Party Chair Jay Jacobs
City Council Member Eric Gioia
City Council Member Bill deBlasio
City Council Member Annabel Palma
City Council Member Melissa Mark-Viverito
City Council Member John Liu
Dan Halloran, City Council candidate
District Leader Marc Landis
District Leader John Smyth
District Leader Keith Lilly
District Leader Cordell Cleare
Democratic Party of Queens County
National Organization for Women, New York State
NARAL Pro-Choice New York
The New Agenda
Eleanor Roosevelt Legacy Committee
NYC Alliance Against Sexual Assault
New York State Young Democrats
National Women's Political Caucus, NY State
New York Post
New York Daily News
Albany Times Union Newspaper
Watertown Daily Times Newspaper
The Chief, Civil Employee's Weekly News
The Buffalo News
Queens Courier
New York Times
Journal News of Lower Hudson Valley
Queens Chronicle
Oneonta Daily Star
Troy Record
to be added to this list, email me at:

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Slaughter: Offensive that Monserrate Has Not Already Resigned

Add Rep. Louise Slaughter, D-Fairport, Monroe County, to the list of political leaders who want Sen. Hiram Monserrate, D-Queens, to resign after he was found guilty earlier this month of misdemeanor assault involving his girlfriend.

“As a co-author of the Violence Against Women Act, I find it offensive that Sen. Monserrate has not already resigned, “ Slaughter said in a statement this afternoon.

“Domestic violence is unacceptable from anyone, let alone from an elected official of the State of New York. Sen. Monserrate should resign immediately for this serious offense, and if he does not, he should be removed from office by the Senate.”

Monday, October 26, 2009

Cook: Monserrate Must Resign Immediately

Queens Democratic Party district leaders unanimously passed a resolution this morning in support of the call by their chairman, Rep. Joe Crowley, for Sen. Hiram Monserrate to resign immediately.

The resolution, introduced by Assemblywoman Vivian Cook, who chairs the county committee, also called on Monserrate to relinquish his position as a party district leader.

Queens Democrats: Unanimously Call for Monserrate's Immediate Resignation

From Daily News:
Queens Democratic Party district leaders unanimously passed a resolution this morning in support of the call by their chairman, Rep. Joe Crowley, for Sen. Hiram Monserrate to resign immediately.

The resolution, introduced by Assemblywoman Vivian Cook, who chairs the county committee, also called on Monserrate to relinquish his position as a party district leader.

Monserrate was not present for the vote, nor was Martha Flores-Vazquez, one of the few district leaders who supports the embattled senator. (She recently forwarded around an e-mail that accused the "American media" of being on the "hunt" against Hispanics).

According to Mike Reich, the party's executive secretary, 65 of the 72 district leaders attended a breakfast meeting at the Shalimar Diner in Rego Park. The DLs also support Crowley in his plan to back a primary challenger against Monserrate next fall if his fellow senators' effort to unseat him fails, Reich said.

"We can’t do anything right now except we can all be out there stating that what Hiram Monserrate has done is unacceptable for an elected official, and he should do the community that he claims to serve the right thing and step aside because he has to pay the price for what he has done and he has to pay the price for his acts," Reich said.

Reich said he believes Monserrate's girlfriend, Karla Giraldo, suffers from battered woman's syndrome, adding:

"She thinks if she sticks by Hiram, he's going to marry her and everything will be nice and cozy. But Hiram has a record of this kind of behavior."

Reich recalled that Monserrate, then a Council candidate, was accused in 2001 of running over a tow truck driver who was attempting to repossess his car at about 4 a.m. The incident occurred on the even of the primary elections and was vastly overshadowed by the Sept. 11 attacks. There were no charges lodged against Monserrate.

"He lucked out in that regard," Reich said. "He's always been known as a thug around the community. We look back in history and say, 'You know, there were signs and we may not have recognized them.' What he did here is just inexcusable."

When I noted this is a complete180 for the Queens Democrats, who abandoned then-Sen. John Sabini to back Monserrate last year (Sabini ended up dropping out of the race), Reich said:

"Sometimes you make mistakes. We backed him because we thought he was what the community wanted...The straw that broke the camel's back for John was the drunk driving conviction. Fortunately for John, he didn't hurt anyone. The same can't be said for Hiram."

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Sen Squardon Demands Resignation

de NY1/Noticias:
Otro miembro del Senado estatal se une a las voces que exigen la renuncia de su colega Hiram Monserrate.
El senador demócrata Daniel Squadron declaró que de no producirse una renuncia, el cuerpo legislativo debe actuar.

“Ayer el senador Sampson anunció la creación de un comité que se ocupará de este tema y creo que este comité debería moverse rápida y agresivamente”, dijo el senador Squadron.

El comité, integrado por cinco demócratas y cuatro republicanos, tiene la tarea de investigar la condena de abuso doméstico de Monserrate y dar una recomendación al Senado sobre su caso.

Los senadores republicanos elegidos este miércoles para el comité son Andrew Lanza, de Staten Island, John Flanagan, de Long Island, James Alesi y Catherine Young de Upstate

Se espera que el partido republicano exija representación equitativa en el comité y busque añadir a la senadora Betty Little al panel.

Del lado demócrata, los senadores del comité son Eric Schneiderman, Ruth Hassell Thompson, Andrea Stewart Cousins, Diane Savino y Toby Ann Stavisky.

Monserrate cuenta con el apoyo de algunos senadores, entre ellos Rubén Díaz, quien asegura que el comité es producto de la presión de legisladores blancos.

La semana pasada, Monserrate fue hallado culpable de un cargo menor por agresión contra su novia, pero fue absuelto de dos cargos más graves.

Dijo que cooperará plenamente con el comité del Senado.

En Ingles:
Another member of the Senate joins the voices demanding the resignation of his colleague, Hiram Monserrate.
Sen. Daniel Squadron declared and without a waiver, the legislature must act.

"Yesterday Senator Sampson announced the creation of a committee that will address this issue and I think this committee should move quickly and aggressively," said Sen. Squadron.

The committee, composed of five Democrats and four Republicans, has the task of investigating the domestic abuse conviction Monserrate and give a recommendation to the Senate on his case.

Senate Republicans elected Wednesday to the committee are Andrew Lanza of Staten Island, John Flanagan of Long Island, James Alesi and Catherine Young of Upstate

It is expected that the Republican Party requires equitable representation on the committee and look to add to Senator Betty Little to the panel.

On the Democratic side, Senators of the committee are Eric Schneiderman, Ruth Hassell Thompson, Andrea Stewart Cousins, Diane Savino and Toby Ann Stavisky.

Monserrate has the support of some senators, including Ruben Diaz, who says the committee is the result of pressure from white lawmakers.

Last week, Monserrate was found guilty of a misdemeanor charge of assault against his girlfriend, but was acquitted of two more serious charges.

He said he will cooperate fully with the Senate committee.

Troy Record: Resign/Remove - Its the Right Thing to Do

Now the Republicans have announced that they would move to expel Monserrate. Despite the fact that the Democrats desperately need his vote, a band of righteous Democrats has said, "Enough." We can thank our lucky stars that these good people have decided to do what’s right and damn the consequences. They announced they will go along. One of them, Senator Liz Krueger, is an advocate for victimized women. Another, Senator Neil Breslin, represents an upstate district in and around Albany and is one of the best people in the Senate. Another senator, Darrel Aubertine, is an upstate Democratic star who is going places and has no need to be lumped in with a bunch of morally corrupt players. They were joined by others who can tell right from wrong.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Libous: Monserrate Should Quit Before Senate Acts

State Sen. Hiram Monserrate should do the right thing and quit before his fellows senators have to judge him, state Sen. Thomas W. Libous, R-Binghamton, said Friday.
"As a service to the people of the state, Monserrate should step aside on his own," Libous said.
Libous called the Monserrate issue "unfortunate," and said state lawmakers are facing too many pressing issues to be distracted by the case.

"I'm calling on my colleague to take the high road and resign," he said.

Libous also said he doesn't think the special panel is needed because the Senate already had an ethics committee that could have reviewed the case. The special panel just creates another layer of bureaucracy.

Oneonta Daily Star: Senate No Place for Abuser

There is no excuse for abuse.

Yet, according to The Domestic Violence Awareness Project, the numbers show that abuse in the home affects a staggering number of Americans.

A survey by the National Institute of Justice and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that about 2.3 million people are assaulted each year in the United Stated by a current or former spouse or partner. According to a 1997 Bureau of Justice report, nearly 40 percent of women who sought emergency-room treatment for injuries inflicted by violence had been wounded by a current or former spouse or partner _ not a stranger.

One of these women was Karla Giraldo, who arrived at Long Island Jewish Hospital in December with a laceration that required 20 to 40 stitches. It was the result of a broken glass being slashed into her face. But Giraldo and her boyfriend both testified the injury was the result of an "accident."

Her boyfriend was convicted of misdemeanor assault for injuring Giraldo as he pulled her through their Queens building on the way to the hospital. But he was found not guilty of the felony charge of assault for slashing Giraldo's face.

What happened to Giraldo is appalling. What makes it a particular concern for New York voters is the abuser is Sen. Hiram Monserrate, a 42-year-old Queens Democrat.

If Monserrate were convicted of a felony for slashing his girlfriend, he would have been forced to resign immediately. Instead, Monserrate has protested that the incident was a misunderstanding and refused to give up his power.

We demand Monserrate's swift resignation.

Fortunately, there are members of the state Senate who concur. On Tuesday, the Senate created a special committee to investigate Monserrate and consider possible sanctions. And New York U.S. senators Kirsten Gillibrand and Charles Schumer _ both Democrats _ called for his resignation.

There are those who will excuse Monserrate's behavior. One is his cohort in the June state Senate coup, Sen. Ruben Diaz, D-Bronx, who cried conspiracy and racism regarding the calls to remove Monserrate.

Giraldo herself has agreed with her convicted abuser, saying it was a misunderstanding and that she still loves him _ an unfortunately familiar scenario in domestic violence.

But placing blame elsewhere than the bloodied hands of Monserrate is unjust, not only to Giraldo but to all the victims of domestic violence. October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Let's honor those who have had their voices taken away by violence and make sure convicted abusers such as Monserrate are not excused away.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Queens Chronicle: Monserrate Must Exit Senate

The state Senate has a tremendous amount of work to do right away — not on the budget, not on the MTA capital plan, not on gay marriage or other necessary legislation, though all that would be nice.
No, the first thing it has to do is begin the lengthy process of restoring the people’s faith in the Empire State’s government. And the best way to get started on that would be to expel Hiram Monserrate, the Jackson Heights politician convicted of misdemeanor assault for manhandling his girlfriend, Karla Giraldo.
Monserrate was found not guilty of the felony assault charges that would have forced him out of the Senate, because Justice William Erlbaum could not determine beyond a reasonable doubt that he had intentionally sliced up Giraldo’s face with a broken glass while they argued in his apartment. The victim adopted a “stand by your man” posture, insisting the incident was an accident, and with no witnesses to say otherwise, the judge had no choice.
Giraldo could not pretend Monserrate hadn’t roughed her up in the apartment lobby, however — that was caught on video — so he was found guilty of the misdemeanor charge.
Guilt beyond a reasonable doubt applies only to courts of criminal law, however, not politics or the Senate. Monserrate’s colleagues only need to establish a committee to consider punishment and determine that his presence reflects poorly on the chamber to force him out.
Senate Democratic Conference Leader John Sampson has formed the committee, a majority of whose Democratic members — probably not coincidentally — are women, which doesn’t bode well for Monserrate. We’re hopeful the panel will work more expeditiously than the rest of the capital seems to, since Sampson, who has two daughters, declared loudly that as a father he is “not only angry but pissed off” about Monserrate’s actions.
Of course, the state Legislature has never been a pinnacle of propriety, at least not in living memory. And unfortunately, some of its worst actors have hailed from Queens, such as bribe-taking jailbird former assemblymen Anthony Seminerio and Brian McLaughlin.
And of course in the Bronx there’s sitting Sen. Pedro Espada, a Monserrate ally who likes to funnel public money to his private organization and to ignore fines imposed on him for campaign law violations.
These same Democrats welcomed Espada back with open arms after his flirtation with the GOP helped paralyze the Senate for a month, rewarding him with the title of majority leader, in another bit of Albany nonsense.
With the exception of Sen. Ruben Diaz, who made the ridiculous claims that Monserrate did the right thing by manhandling Giraldo and that the pressure on him is racially based, the Democrats now seem to know that expelling Monserrate would be the right thing to do both morally and politically, as it might show that the Senate is getting serious about cleaning up its act. So do many Democrats in higher office, including power brokers like Rep. Joe Crowley, who heads the Democratic Party in Queens, and U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer. Crowley has already said that if Monserrate doesn’t leave the Senate one way or another, he’ll back a primary challenger against him.
It shouldn’t come to that. Monserrate knows he made, at best, a tremendous mistake, and that he should have to pay a tremendous price. Felony charges aside, one thing not beyond a reasonable doubt is that his presence in the Senate reflects poorly on the entire state government. It’s time for him to go, willingly or not.

Espaillat: He No Longer Can Effectively Serve

A Hispanic assemblyman says Sen. Hiram Monserrate's assault conviction makes him unable to serve Latinos and he should resign.

Assemblyman Adriano Espaillat of Manhattan says Monserrate, a fellow Democrat from Queens, should step aside because he no longer can effectively serve his constituents.

Liu: Monserrate Remaining in Office Is A Disservice to Public

John Liu, a former colleague of Monserrate's in the City Council and the Democratic Party's comptroller candidate, said that elected officials "are also held to a higher standard of trust and responsibility" and "remaining in office at this time would be a remendous disservice to his district and his constituents." Liu called for Monserrate's immediate resignation.

National Women's Political Caucus-NYS: Resign from Office

“The trial is over. The hope was that Hiram Monserrate would be convicted of the most serious felony charges and sent to jail. That didn’t happen,” Donna Lent, president of the National Women’s Political Caucus in New York, said in a statement. The National Organization for Women of New York just released a statement announcing another women’s group is calling for Sen. Hiram Monserrate, D-Queens, to resign from office. The National Women’s Political Caucus of New York State has joined NOW, NARAL Pro-Choice New York, the New Agenda and the Eleanor Roosevelt Legacy Committee, according to Marcia Pappas, NOW’s state president.

Johnson: Monserrate Should Not Be in This Chamber

From Crains:
"As a husband and a father, I simply do not believe that someone convicted of assaulting a woman should be a member of this chamber," says State Senator Craig Johnson, in his first public comment on the matter.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

DelMonte: Monserrate Should Resign from Senate

From Assemblywoman DelMonte:
“It is unacceptable that Sen. Hiram Monserrate (D-Queens) continues to serve in the state Senate.  Sen. Monserrate may have been cleared of felony charges in the battery case against his girlfriend but he was found guilty of misdemeanor assault.”

“Senator Monserrate showed poor judgment last December in an altercation with a girlfriend and he showed poor judgment with his participation in the ill-conceived coup in June.  His actions in December against his girlfriend and in June, with three other Senators, helped create an image that has needlessly tarnished the reputations of all legislators at a time when we are confronting serious fiscal challenges in the state.”

“I authored the Kari Ann Gorman bill this year which would require students in 7th to 12th grades to learn about dating and domestic violence.  Domestic violence is unacceptable under any circumstance but often spikes under stressful conditions. There is no acceptable level of battery, especially from someone in public office.  Legislators make laws and are not entitled to special exemptions.”

“I call on the Senate sponsor of the bill, Sen. George Maziarz (R-Newfane), to join other colleagues in the Senate who are calling for Sen. Monserrate to either resign his position or be expelled from the Senate.”

Paulin: Resign or Be Removed

Assemblywoman Amy Paulin of Scarsdale said Monserrate should resign and he if he refused to, the Senate should remove him from office.

Gunther: He Should Step Down

Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther of Forestburgh was “shocked’ and said he should step down.

“He’s not an example for young men and women across New York State. This is not what a public servant should look like. What I mean is the domestic violence issues and at this point we are waiting for some action to be taken,” she said.

New York Times: Monserrate Must Go

Anybody who has seen the disturbing video of State Senator Hiram Monserrate dragging his girlfriend through an apartment lobby knows that he does not belong in public office. Convicted last week of assaulting his unfortunate companion, Mr. Monserrate, a Queens Democrat, should resign immediately.

Mr. Monserrate, so far, has refused to do so, but the list of political figures calling for his departure grows by the hour. Not surprising, several leading female politicians have expressed outrage at his violent and abusive behavior — and at his apparent belief that he could get away with it.

New York City Council Members Annabel Palma and Melissa Mark-Viverito — whose voices are important because they, like Senator Monserrate, are Hispanic — were especially outspoken.

“We are both familiar with domestic violence and the cycle of damage it causes,” they said in a joint statement. “Lives are destroyed and futures are damaged; tragically, women and children suffer the harshest effects of this violent cycle. Our justice system has a long way to go in defending and safeguarding women against violent abusers, but we cannot remain silent anytime a woman is victimized.”

With Mr. Monserrate clinging to office, John Sampson, the Democratic conference leader in the Senate, has created a bipartisan committee that would have the authority to expel him.

This is not a simple matter. Though the Senate can throw somebody out, state law and the New York Constitution give little guidance about how to do it. But that is no excuse for inaction. The last expulsion in Albany occurred in 1920 when Assembly leaders engineered the rejection of five newly elected socialists on charges they were not sufficiently pro-American. Surely if those legislators could manage to expel colleagues for such an absurd reason, their modern-day counterparts can do it for a very good reason.

The New York State Legislature has a lot of important business on deck. It must attend to an alarming budget deficit. It needs a major housecleaning, from campaign finance to redistricting. It does not need to be distracted or consumed by the reprehensible behavior of one senator. The best outcome is for Mr. Monserrate to acknowledge his duty and quit.

Journal News: Time to Go

From Journal News:
With Afghanistan, the health-care debate and financial-sector reform sucking up so much of the oxygen in Washington, one might think that U.S. Sens. Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand would be far too busy to concern themselves with the circumstances of one thug constituent. But there they were earlier this week calling for the resignation of fellow Democrat Hiram Monserrate, the state senator convicted of misdemeanor assault last week for manhandling his girlfriend.
Theirs was wasted breath, no doubt, but the counsel was sound: New York puts up with all manner of rogue cheats and scoundrels, but surely it can draw the line on lawmakers who batter women.
Monserrate, who represents Queens, was convicted of the misdemeanor for dragging Karla Giraldo out of his building, in a scene captured by a surveillance camera. He was acquitted of felony charges that he deliberately cut Giraldo's face with a glass, notwithstanding trial testimony that Giraldo told hospital staff that the mayhem was no accident. She did not cooperate with prosecutors.
"Domestic violence has no place in our society, and certainly has no place in the state Legislature," said Gillibrand. "We must take a hard line against violence toward women in our society."
Monserrate doesn't get it; he called the face-cutting the result of a "terrible accident." But his fellow lawmakers should make plain that they appreciate the scourge that domestic violence is; the clearest message they can send would be to dump Monserrate.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Newsday: State Senate Should Police Its Own

The State Senate must know it has an image problem. It's taken a welcome step toward addressing it by appointing a committee to consider discipline or expulsion for Sen. Hiram Monserrate (D-Jackson Heights). Tried for a vicious attack on his girlfriend, the senator was convicted on a misdemeanor assault charge - for what we all saw on a disturbing videotape. He should face his colleagues' doubts about his qualifications to serve. Representing the people is a privilege, not a right.

Had Monserrate been found guilty of the felony charges originally brought against him, he would have lost his seat automatically. Both he and his girlfriend, Karla Giraldo, claimed the incident was an accident, leaving a judge little choice but to convict on the lesser charge. Either way, Giraldo ended up with nearly 40 stitches on her face.

So far, numerous Democratic officeholders have called on Monserrate to resign. Maybe the anti-incumbent sentiment in New York has correctly convinced them to police their own.

If the Senate doesn't act, voters will have their say next year. But New York elections seem all but rigged in incumbents' favor. Just getting on the ballot requires a team of legal experts. Campaign finance rules on the state level allow virtually limitless donations - favoring officeholders over challengers. Name recognition, safe districting and member-item cash to spread around the community put a virtual lock on an incumbent's chances.

Until lawmakers can re-tilt this playing field, they need to enforce some standards.

Young Democrats: Resign

The New York State Young Democrats President Matthew Silverstein called for Senator Monserrate to resign stating that, “Senator Monserrate’s actions and his prosecution severely identify questions of his character as an elected official. I join many others in calling for his resignation so that the State of New York can move on to the important state-wide issues on the agenda.”

Seward: Resign or I Will Support Expelling Him

From State Senator Jim Seward:
Sen. Monserrate should resign from the senate immediately. As a convicted
violent offender, he has no place as a member of the New York State Senate.
If he does not resign, I will support efforts to expel him from the senate.

Congressman Hall: Step Down or Be Removed

From Congressman Hall:
"All New Yorkers, especially those who have been victims of domestic abuse, deserve to have Senator Monserrate step down or be removed from office. Monserrate has been convicted of a deplorable crime. The New York State Senate should set the example that violence against women will not be tolerated in our society."

Massa: Resign or Take Steps to Remove

From Congressman Massa:
Domestic abuse is unacceptable and I have no tolerance for it. Senator Monserrate has been convicted and I think he should resign or the Senate Leadership should take steps to remove him from office. Elected officials should lead by example, that is why we must stand united and act decisively to oppose violence against women.

Thompson: Monserrate Needs to Step Aside

From City Comptroller Bill Thompson: “I think it’s becoming clearer, and clearer each and every day that in this case of domestic abuse is one that, in spite of the fact that he was only convicted of a misdemeanor, people feel that elected officials should be held to higher standards, and that senator Monserrate needs to step aside.”

Stewart-Cousins: Resign

Sen. Andrea Stewart-Cousins, D-Yonkers, will serve on the special committee set up by Senate Democrats to investigate what action could be taken against Sen. Hiram Monserrate, D-Queens, who was found guilty last week of a misdemeanor assault charge involving his girlfriend.

Stewart-Cousins said calls for Monserrate to resign are “appropriate.”

For Monserrate to resign, she said, “I think somebody said it would be a noble thing to do, and I would certainly would hope that he would consider that.”

But she said her own opinion would not influence her role on the panel, which Senate Democratic Leader John Sampson, D-Brooklyn, will announce today at 3 p.m. She said the panel cannot explore his resignation, only what steps the Senate could take against him.

“I think that there is a standard according to the Senate laws that requires a formation of a panel like this in order to explore a range of options in regards to a member,” she said.

“What I will be doing with my colleagues is creating those standards and trying come up with fair and objective ways to assess how members in these types of circumstances are ultimately treated.”

Mark-Viverito: Should Resign Immediately

Joint Statement from City Council Member Melissa Mark-Viverito:
State Senator Hiram Monserrate should immediately resign from the New York State Senate. Despite having worked with him in the New York City Council, the recent verdict in his case compels us to take a stand and demand accountability. The bottom line is that Monserrate was found guilty, and his ability to serve his constituents as an elected official has been severely diminished.

We are both familiar with domestic violence and the cycle of damage it causes. Lives are destroyed and futures are damaged; tragically, women and children suffer the harshest effects of this violent cycle. Our justice system has a long way to go in defending and safeguarding women against violent abusers but we cannot remain silent anytime a woman is victimized. In this case, we are particularly compelled because the abuser is one who has been entrusted with the public's confidence. Hiram has broken the public’s trust and it is our hope that he will now demonstrate leadership by stepping down from his position. Remaining in office would be a disservice to his district and his constituents.

Annabel Palma: Should Immediately Resign

Joint Statement from City Council Member Annabel Palma:
State Senator Hiram Monserrate should immediately resign from the New York State Senate. Despite having worked with him in the New York City Council, the recent verdict in his case compels us to take a stand and demand accountability. The bottom line is that Monserrate was found guilty, and his ability to serve his constituents as an elected official has been severely diminished.

We are both familiar with domestic violence and the cycle of damage it causes. Lives are destroyed and futures are damaged; tragically, women and children suffer the harshest effects of this violent cycle. Our justice system has a long way to go in defending and safeguarding women against violent abusers but we cannot remain silent anytime a woman is victimized. In this case, we are particularly compelled because the abuser is one who has been entrusted with the public's confidence. Hiram has broken the public’s trust and it is our hope that he will now demonstrate leadership by stepping down from his position. Remaining in office would be a disservice to his district and his constituents.

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/blogs/dailypolitics/2009/10/two-latinas-hiram-must-go.html#ixzz0UV5CWNTd

Speaker Silver: Monserrate Should Be Expelled

From New York Post:
Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (D-Manhattan) said Monserrate had engaged in a "classic case of domestic violence" and should "probably" be expelled from the Senate.

Duane Hopes Monserrate Will Resign

From ABC News:
"I hope, wish Senator Monserrate would resign. I'm not optimistic he is going to resign," State Sen. Tom Duane said.

Perkins Wants Monserrate Gone As Soon As Possible

From ABC News:
"In my community domestic violence is a very, very big thing," State Sen. Bill Perkins said.

Perkins also tells us he wants Monserrate gone as soon as possible. If he had been convicted of a felony, that would have been easy -- immediate expulsion. But now the senate must vote. A simple majority would seem to be enough. Sources point to this part of the state constitution: "Each house shall determine the rules and be the judge of qualifications of its own members." So if you believe that, 30 republicans plus a handful of democrats would be enough to tell Monserrate goodbye, or so you'd think.

"One of the things I've learned about Albany is counting doesn't always add up," Perkins said.

Betsy Gotbaum: Monserrate Must Be Removed from the Senate

Public Advocate Betsy Gotbaum said, “Whether an abuser is convicted of a misdemeanor or a felony, domestic violence of any sort is intolerable. State Senator Hiram Monserrate assaulted his partner and allowing him to keep his Senate seat sends a disturbing message that he has not done anything wrong. He has, in fact, done something wrong. Something he should have resigned for immediately. Since he refuses to resign, the Senate should act swiftly to remove him from his seat. Anything short of that could indicate that the Senate condones violent behavior. Doing and saying nothing perpetuates the stigma and fear that victims of abuse face, and doing and saying nothing validates the behavior and actions of abusers. Instead, we need to speak out to prevent violence and work to ensure that abusers face adequate punishment for violent and damaging acts.”

Queens Courier: There Should Be Public Outrage

(a resident of Elmhurst, which is located within Monserrate's district)

Regardless of the verdict, there should be public outrage.

Since news of State Senator Hiram Monserrate’s assault first hit the headlines, details of the incident have been exposed in newspapers nationwide, accompanied by video evidence and reports from witnesses.

Although not convicted of felony assault, any charge of domestic violence should be followed by public outrage, but in the case of Monserrate there has been silence instead.

The lack of expressed indignation from Monserrate’s fellow politicians and constituents is unacceptable because domestic violence affects the entire community. Ample statistics from the National Center against Domestic Violence show the frequency and widespread occurrence of domestic violence.

According to the Center, in 2006 there were more than 50,000 reported cases in New York State alone. Even more alarming, New York City police intervened in 234,988 domestic violence calls in 2008, an average of 600 incidents a day. Also, in 2008, 72,463 home visits were conducted by the police department’s domestic violence unit, a 93 percent increase since 2002.

The impact of violence against intimate partners occurs through direct exposure, but the community is also affected by costs for victim services and reduced capacity in the workplace. The Center for Disease Control estimated the cost of domestic violence at $8.3 billion in 2003. This includes costs for medical and mental healthcare, as well as the victim loss in productivity resulting from physical and psychological injuries.

Ultimately, the community is impacted when represented by a leader with questionable judgment and an inability to resolve conflicts peacefully. These character deficiencies displace trust for representatives to act diligently on behalf of the community they are representing. It also brings up questions about their effectiveness working in a forum where debates, disputes and conflicts occur on a regular basis.

There are those that will note Monserrate’s charge is merely a misdemeanor assault and not a felony, and others that will say we have already committed sufficient resources to domestic violence awareness and victim services. These people will say that a public response condemning the Senator’s assault is overkill.

However, the lack of outrage over Monserrate’s assault shows that while many gains have been made in raising awareness about domestic violence, the subject is still viewed as a private matter not warranting public attention, and this view is simply unacceptable.

Now, is the perfect time to express our indignation with domestic violence – President Barack Obama proclaimed October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month, noting the “devastating impact” of this type of violence on individuals and the community.

So, I challenge you to consider the statistic that one in four women will experience domestic violence in their lifetime.

Public condemnation of domestic violence is not only vital to protect and support victims but also acts as a tool for prevention. Domestic violence is a despicable and unacceptable crime, that shouldn’t be accompanied by silence.

Buffalo News: Oust Monserrate

Domestic violence conviction should end role as state senator

It's time for Hiram Monserrate to take his leave.

Convicted of a misdemeanor for a vicious assault on his girlfriend, the Bronx Democrat now either needs to resign from his seat in the State Senate or be expelled by the chamber itself.

Had he been convicted of the felony he was charged with, expulsion would have been automatic. Regardless, he was convicted of a misdemeanor and the injuries are the same. "In my view, the state has clearly proven he did, indeed, cause injury to Karla Giraldo without a reasonable doubt," said Supreme Court Justice William M. Erlbaum, who tried the case without a jury. "She's injured and bruised, black and blue marks. There's skin tearing. There's already injuries and a lot of blood."

Monserrate, a former police officer and New York City councilman, claims the injuries were caused accidentally, when he tripped while bringing her a glass of water in a dark bedroom. If a suspect gave him a story like that when he was a cop, we doubt Monserrate would hesitate in applying the cuffs.

At this point, Giraldo supports Monserrate's version of events, but testimony in the trial was that she initially told doctors and a nurse at Long Island Jewish Medical Center that Monserrate had attacked her during a fight. She later denied making those statements.

Now the question moves to the Senate, which must decide if any minimum standards of conduct apply to its members. What should be expected of a New York State senator?

Is it all right for one to attack his girlfriend, as the judge concluded Monserrate did, and remain a member in good standing of one of the highest levels of state government?

What do New Yorkers, themselves, have a right to expect of those in state leadership positions?

At least one senator says Monserrate should go. Sen. Liz Krueger, D-Manhattan, on Friday called for Monserrate to step down. So has the National Organization for Women. Someone — either Monserrate or the Senate leadership — needs to have the decency and good political sense to see that that happens.

Monday, October 19, 2009

deBlasio: Monserrate Should Be Removed

From City Council Member (and Public Advocate nominee) Bill deBlasio:
“Despite the promise that many once saw in Senator Monserrate, the revelations of his recent trial are too severe to be ignored. This is a sad moment but we cannot allow any form of domestic violence to go unanswered. Senator Monserrate should resign from office and if he fails to do so he should be removed by the Senate leadership.”

Eleanor Roosevelt Legacy Committee: Resign or Senate Should Act to Remove

ERLC Calls for Hiram Monserrate's Resignation from the New York State Senate

On Thursday, October 15th, Democratic State Senator Hiram Monserrate was convicted of assaulting his girlfriend by slashing her face with a piece of glass. The ERLC joins together with our Board member and State Senator Liz Krueger, NARAL, NOW, and the New Agenda in calling for the resignation of Hiram Monserrate from the New York State Senate and in demanding that the Senate take immediate action to remove him from office.

“What kind of message does the Democratic Party send to the women and men of New York State if they are willing to welcome back a man who has been convicted of committing a violent crime against a woman and refuses to take responsibility for his actions? This violates every principle the Democratic Party stands for and is an outrage to all New Yorkers,” said ERLC President Cathy Lasry. “I believe this is a critical turning point for the New York Democratic Party, the State Senate, and its leaders. For their sake as well as that of New Yorkers, women, and men everywhere, it is time to place principle over politics and we call upon the Governor and the Legislature to join us in denouncing Hiram Monserrate and demanding he resign from the Senate.

Schumer: Do the Right Thing -- Resign

Official Statement from Senator Charles Schumer:
"I think Hiram Monserrate should do the right thing for the State of New York, the State Senate, and his constituents and resign," Schumer said.

Senator Gillibrand: Resign Immediately

Senator Gillibrand's official statement:

"Domestic violence has no place in our society, and certainly has no place in the State Legislature. A court of law has found Sen. Monserrate guilty of domestic violence, and I believe he should resign immediately. If he does not resign, then the Senate should move to expel him. We must take a hard line against violence toward women in our society."

The Chief: No Place for Monserrate

From the Chief, The Civil Employee's Weekly:
No Place for Monserrate
The acquittal of State Sen. Hiram Monserrate on a felony assault charge concerning how his girlfriend was cut by a broken glass last December makes life more difficult for his fellow Senators, particularly the Democrats.

Landis: Expel Him If He Does Not Resign

From Marc Landis,
Chairperson, New York County Democratic Committee & Democratic District Leader,67th Assembly District-Part C
I am a Democratic District Leader on the Upper West Side who has joined in the call for Senator Monserrate to resign, and for the State Senate to expel him if he does not resign.

As an attorney, I understand why the judge may not have had sufficient evidence to convict Senator Monserrate of a felony.

As a citizen and a Democratic Party activist, I cannot stay silent. Anyone convicted of any violent crime should not serve in public office.

State Democratic Chair: Resign Immediately or be Ousted

From New York Post:
GOV. PATERSON'S newly picked head of the state Demo cratic Party yesterday forcefully demanded that embattled Sen. Hiram Monserrate resign immediately from the Senate or be ousted.

Democratic Chairman Jay Jacobs, in some of the strongest language yet heard in the wake of Monserrate's conviction for assaulting his girlfriend, told The Post that if his party is to stand for anything, it must force the Queens lawmaker out.

"Public opinion understands what he did was tremendously wrong," said Jacobs, who was installed at Paterson's direction as state chairman earlier this month.

"The court had its opinion, but we all know what this was, and, frankly, it doesn't represent the Democratic Party, and I think the best thing he can do for everyone is to resign," continued Jacobs, who is also the Nassau County Democratic Party boss.

"He absolutely should be ousted if he doesn't resign because the Democratic Party has to stand for something. If the party doesn't stand for anything, then what is it about?

"I am very adamant that this party has to stand for something, and it's at moments like these that we either demonstrate that we live by our principles or recognize that they're just good marketable tools.

"And I don't believe in the latter. We have to mean what we say."

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Bloomberg: Monserrate's Actions
'Disgraceful, Despicable, Deplorable'

From Daily News:
Mayor Bloomberg did not mince words today when asked about Sen. Hiram Monserrate, saying he believes what the Queens lawmaker did "according to the judge," was "disgraceful, despicable, deplorable."

Watertown Daily Times: NOT ACCEPTABLE
Monserrate Should Step Down

New York state Sen. Hiram Monserrate, D-Queens, has been convicted on a misdemeanor charge of assaulting his girlfriend.

A court found him guilty of dragging his girlfriend, Karla Giraldo, through the lobby of his apartment building during an argument last December. At the time, she was bleeding from a face wound which required stitches.

Both the senator and Ms. Giraldo said the injury was an accident. He was acquitted of the charge of smashing her face with a glass. The senator is to be sentenced Dec. 4 on the misdemeanor and could face up to a year in jail.

Shortly after the incident, Mr. Monserrate was sworn in to the state Senate. Last summer, he and Sen. Pedro Espada Jr., also a Democrat, engineered a coup by joining a coalition led by Republicans, briefly overthrowing the Democratic leadership which later retained control of the Senate.

Senator Klein: We Can't Wait to Punish Monserrate

From Daily News: A top state senator wants a committee to start reviewing the issue of possible discipline for convicted Sen. Hiram Monserrate this week.

Senate Deputy Majority Leader Jeff Klein (D-Bronx) doesn't believe the chamber should wait until after Monserrate is sentenced in December on a charge of misdemeanor assault against his girlfriend.

A Senate committee can recommend sanctions against the embattled Monserrate ranging from censure to expulsion.

Klein refused to say whether he agrees with a number of his fellow Dems that Monserrate should resign or be ousted.

"We have a process to follow," he said.

"It may very well lead to his ouster after the committee reviews the record and the law and Senate rules."

Austin Shafran, spokesman for Senate President Malcolm Smith, said the Senate is considering further sanctions against Monserrate but wouldn't put a timetable on them.

Albany TimesUnion: Time to Go

With an assault conviction now added to his resume, Hiram Monserrate should leave the state Senate.

No, state Sen. Hiram Monserrate isn’t required by law to relinquish his seat after being found guilty of misdemeanor assault against his girlfriend. Mandatory expulsion would have come only from conviction on the felony assault charge lodged against him in an incident last December in which the woman’s face was slashed.

It’s instead a matter of common sense and decency that Mr. Monserrate should be forced to resign.

Nothing less than whatever dignity is left in an institution that ground to a halt last summer is at stake. For Mr. Monserrate, a Queens Democrat, to stay in the Senate, on the grounds that he’s merely guilty of misdemeanor third-degree assault for dragging his girlfriend through his apartment lobby while she was bleeding from a cut around her eye and to her skull, would be an assault on the sensibilities of the people of New York in the first degree.

If Thursday’s acquittal of the second-degree assault felony of intentionally slicing her open during a bitter fight is enough to keep Mr. Monserrate in the Senate, then that’s an institution lacking any standards and any decency whatsoever.

“We respect the decision rendered by the justice system,” says Senate Democratic leader John Sampson.

So do we. Such respect for the law, and the people it’s intended to protect, requires demanding so much more of the people entrusted to make law, as other senators have noted. Mr. Monserrate has to go.

The admittedly lesser charge he’s guilty of is a very serious one all the while. Mr. Monserrate still could be sentenced to a year in jail.

What would he be inclined to do then?

Stay in the Senate, only to pretend that another partisan stalemate has kept it from actually convening?

Would he collect his $79,500 salary yet forgo his per diem expenses?

The questions mount already, from the alarming to the surreal. The state Senate is about to confront its biggest scandal yet, unless Mr. Monserrate leaves very quickly.

“The Senate will continue to move forward and fulfill its duty,” Mr. Sampson promises.

Not with a criminal in its ranks it won’t.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Senator Betty Little Calls for Monserrate to Resign

Senator Young: Monserrate Needs to Go Immediately

From Buffalo News:
"It's an outrage that he's still in the Senate," said Sen. Catharine Young of Olean. "He needs to go immediately. Lawbreakers cannot be lawmakers."

Halloran: Resign Immediately

From City Council Candidate Dan Halloran:
“Senator Monserrate should resign immediately. Cleaning up Albany starts at the top – by electing leaders who are responsive to the people, who have values and integrity.

“Being an elected official is a privilege, not a right. As a former law enforcement official and officer of the court I want to make it clear: these crimes will not be tolerated. As a lawmaker and representative of the people, Monserrate has to be held to the highest standard. And crimes again women are especially vile.

NYPIRG: Monserrate Must
Release Names of Wealthy Donors
to Legal Defense Fund

With legal fees topping a half-million dollars, Monserrate has a defense fund set up by a network of backers, according to a person familiar with the case who spoke to the Associated Press on condition of anonymity. The person, who was not authorized to speak publicly about Monserrate's finances, said the network consists of ``high-net individuals'' and Monserrate did not use campaign funds to pay legal bills.

Blair Horner of the New York Public Interest Research Group says Monserrate should release the names of all who donated since some may have business before the state government.

``The public has a right to know if wealthy individuals or interest groups are picking up the tab for the senator's legal defense,'' Horner said.

New Agenda: Remove Monserrate

“Silence is the great enabler of gender based abuse” said The New Agenda’s President Amy Siskind. “Allowing Hiram Monserrate to continue to serve would send a clear and equivocal message to the women of New York: ‘violence against women is acceptable in our state.’ Any New York state legislator that remains silent or speaks out on behalf of Monserrate will taint their moral authority to govern.”

Sign the Petition to "Fire Monserrate"

Sign the Petition HERE

Daily News: Monserrate Should Lose Seat

He nearly got away with it. Guilty of misdemeanor assault for dragging his bleeding girlfriend by the arm through a hallway, state Sen. Hiram Monserrate was acquitted of two more-serious felony assault charges, for slashing her in a jealous rage.

But let there be no confusion. Though Monserrate is not guilty of these crimes in the eyes of the criminal law, there is compelling and persuasive evidence that he did in fact cut his girlfriend with a glass as charged.

He has therefore forfeited his right to serve the people of Queens and should be removed from office immediately - though the misdemeanor conviction does not require him to give up his seat.

Prosecutors were unable to convince Queens Supreme Court Justice William Erlbaum beyond a reasonable doubt that Monserrate deliberately sliced Karla Giraldo's face with a glass after finding a man's business card in her purse.

Even though medical personnel at the hospital where Monserrate took Giraldo - a half-hour away - said she told them he did it. Even though Giraldo changed her story completely from the first version to the tale she spun on the stand.

But reasonable doubt is a criminal standard. Human beings, exercising common sense, can come to their own judgment based on the facts as we know them.

Monserrate and Giraldo had been drinking. He found the business card, got angry and threw it down the garbage chute. They argued loudly. At some point, he brought her a glass of water, which was thrust into her face with such force that the skin around her eye was cut through to the bone.

An accident? We didn't and don't believe it.

Monserrate pulled her out of the apartment as she held a bloody towel to her face. He dragged her through the building hallway - a disturbing episode recorded by security cameras. She pounded on a neighbor's door, crying for help. He sidled her out of the building and drove her to a distant hospital, instead of calling 911.

A caring beau? We didn't and don't believe it.

Giraldo's change of story, her assertion that the injury was the result of a simple slip and fall, were enough to keep the judge from having the 99% certainty required to meet the legal benchmark for conviction. But any rational observer knows enough to believe the prosecution's account.

That's good enough - bad enough - to keep Hiram Monserrate from retaining the esteemed title of "senator" in front of his name.