Fellow Dem Urges Monserrate to Step Down - NBC New York

Fellow Dem Urges Monserrate to Step Down

Queens pol walked on two felony counts, convicted of misdemeanor



    Fellow Dem Urges Monserrate to Step Down
    Will he or won't he?

    A top Senate Democrat is now calling for Sen. Hiram Monserrate to resign his seat following his conviction on a misdemeanor charge for assaulting his girlfriend.

         The call by Sen. Liz Krueger of Manhattan follows a similar plea by the National Organization for Women.
    NOW's New York chapter also criticized the Bronx judge who acquitted the ex-cop Thursday on a felony charge that would have automatically removed him from office. NOW says it wants the Senate's Democratic leaders to find the courage to expel him.
    Krueger says Monserrate, a fellow Democrat, is guilty of a disturbing crime and should resign.
    Senate Democratic Conference leader Sen. John Sampson says they will review past practices and follow the law in considering what to do.
    The Queens politician was found not guilty of two felony charges of assault and one other misdemeanor charge stemming from the December incident that left his girlfriend with 20 stitches to her face following a night of drinking and arguing. A conviction on those charges would have effectively ended his senate career

    "A terrible accident happened to my girlfriend Carla Giraldo -- a person that I love," a vindicated Monserrate said as he walked out of the courtroom a free man. "And I will always live with that.  There are no winners. This has been a humbling experience.  Yes. I was acquitted of a intentional act."

    Defense attorney Joseph Tacopina said Monserrate would never spend a moment in jail on the misdemeanor charge and celebrated the verdict as a victory, predicting that Monserrate would keep his senate seat.

    Queens District Attorney Richard Brown saw  things a different way.

    The "decision holds a batterer accountable for his actions," said Brown, who added, "I don't think he should be thrilled at all."