Paterson Backs Senate Expulsion of Monserrate

Friday, Feb 12, 2010  |  Updated 2:15 PM EDT
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Paterson Backs Senate Expulsion of Monserrate

Ousted state Sen. Hiram Monserrate says he's not going anywhere. Paterson supports the Senate's decision.

Gov. David Paterson says the New York Senate was right to expel a lawmaker convicted of domestic violence and is also questioning whether the victim was tampered with as a witness.

     Citing a Senate investigation committee's report on Sen. Hiram Monserrate after his misdemeanor assault conviction, Paterson likened it Friday to many cases involving women who don't want to get their abuser in trouble and are intimidated.
    
The report says Monserrate aides helped write Karla Giraldo's statement to prosecutors that a gash on her face was the result of an accident. One aide stayed in contact with her through the trial and sentencing and he drove her to and from court to testify.

It may not be appropriate for Monserrate to keep his job in light of his misdemeanor assault conviction, Paterson suggested.

"I think that’s what his colleagues in the Senate have told him, that right now they don’t believe that he is fit to serve as a senator," the governor said, according to the Daily News. "He was a senator at the time of his conviction. I hope that the people of his area will elect someone who will serve with dignity and distinction."

Paterson, who served for more than two decades in the Senate, also told reporters that the convicted Queens Democrat "might have a career against at some point" if he "engages in self awareness and thinks about this and takes appropriate measures," reports the News.  
    
Monserrate lawyer Steven Hyman calls Paterson's comments "outrageous'' in light of the known facts and based on a flawed report.

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