Common Cause/NY: "Now is Not the Time to Stay Silent on Monserrate"

NEW YORK, NY (02/03/2020) (readMedia)-- Today, the New York Times added to ongoing news reports that Hiram Monserrate -- a former State Senator and City Councilmember who pleaded guilty to felony corruption after being previously expelled from the Legislature for domestic violence -- is planning a political comeback. The story noted all but one of the six elected officials from neighboring districts where Monsteratte is running either declined to comment or did not respond to request for comment. The story also noted taht the Assembly Speaker Heastie declined to mention Monserrate while defening the incumbent Assemblymember.

In response, Susan Lerner, Executive Director of Common Cause/NY, issued the following statement:

"It is disturbing to see so many elected officials take a passive position in regard to Hiram Monserrate's unrepentant and relentless pursuit of public office. We expect to see public officials privileged with the responsibility of representing their communities and the high standards of their office speak out against corrupt abusers. It is never an acceptable choice to stay silent, but even less so now in the age of Trump."

Monserrate was expelled from the State Senate in 2009 after being convicted of third-degree assault of his then-girl friend. In 2012, he pleaded guilty to felony charges of mail fraud and conspiracy for misusing city tax dollars to help pay for his Senate campaign.

In November, in response to news that Hiriam Monseratte opened a campaign committee to explore a potential 2020 run for the Assembly, Susan Lerner issued the following statement:

"Hiram Monserrate is not fundamentally disqualified from having a job, but there must be a different standard for the privilege of holding public office. Anyone convicted of felony corruption for stealing taxpayer money, should not have access or control over said money again, for at least ten years. It is also especially disturbing to see anyone enable a man who was ejected by the Senate for dragging his partner through a hallway after brutally attacking her, only to then drive out of his way to a hospital where no one would recognize him so she could get 40 stitches. Queens voters deserve someone worthy of their trust, and the unrepentant Mr. Monserrate has yet to earn it."

State Senator Todd Kaminsky and Assembly Member Catalina Cruz have proposed legislation that would bar someone from holding public office or positions of political party leadership for ten years after a felony conviction.