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Monserrate Must Step Down

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A grand jury last week indicted state Sen. Hiram Monserrate on charges of slashing his girlfriend in the face with a broken glass. The former cop and city councilman from East Elmhurst has been charged with three counts of second−degree assault, a Class D felony.

But the state Senate has chosen to do nothing about Monserrate’s arrest and indictment. Shame on them.

Monserrate did step down as chairman of the Senate Consumer Affairs Committee until his legal problems are resolved. But he remains a senator. And apparently that is just fine with Senate Majority Leader Malcolm Smith, who said, “I have accepted his request and such action is effective immediately.”

His girlfriend received 17 stitches to close the wound made by the broken glass. Had the glass hit her face a little lower, she might have lost an eye. She now denies the incident was anything more than an accident. But that is not what she allegedly told personnel at the hospital, who called the police based on her words.

We might have been more sympathetic if Monserrate, then a councilman, had admitted he lost control and enrolled in domestic violence or anger management counseling. The prosecutor would have most likely reduced the charges to a misdemeanor. The people who elected him to the Senate could have then decided whether he should have been sworn in.

As it stands, Monserrate has been charged with a serious act of domestic violence. Until he can clear his name, he should not represent anyone.

Posted 6:32 pm, October 10, 2011
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