Former Sen. Hiram Monserrate has taken blows from his former colleagues over his conviction for assaulting his girlfriend. Now Monserrate is going to be the one throwing the punches — inside a boxing ring for charity.
The erstwhile East Elmhurst senator has challenged state Sen. Eric Schneiderman (D-Manhattan), who spearheaded the investigation that led to Monserrate’s being ousted from the Senate, to be his opponent for the Nov. 22 event to benefit charities helping autistic and other children with special needs. But Schneiderman declined.
“The senator’s not participating,” said Schneiderman spokesman James Freedland. “He doesn’t find it very funny. He doesn’t find this very amusing.”
Monserrate said Schneiderman should at least help out the charitable causes if he does not want to face him in the ring.
“I think those are unfortunate statements he’s making,” Monserrate said in an interview Tuesday. “If he doesn’t want to box, then send a check.”
Monserrate said he was contacted by the Long Island-based Fight for Charity and agreed to box. He started training for his bout Monday.
“If I could use my notoriety to help fill the seats, then that’s a good thing,” he said. “This is an incredibly important event and obviously it’s personal to me in many respects.”
Monserrate, a former police officer, has an autistic son. He said he has no immediate plans, political or otherwise.
“I feel like I’m taking this opportunity to help special needs kids,” he said. “We should always try to do good things.”
Monserrate said he has taken steps to improve his life after being convicted of misdemeanor assault for dragging his girlfriend Karla Giraldo through the lobby of his apartment building after her face was slashed with a piece of glass. Both he and Giraldo have maintained the incident was an accident.
The former senator said he has been taking classes to curb his anger.
“I try to make myself better and now I’m focused on making myself a leaner and nicer Hiram Monserrate,” he said.
Monserrate and the other boxers will be fighting Nov. 22 at the Huntington, L.I., Hilton at 5 p.m.
He began training for the event the same day his former chief of staff, Wayne Mahlke, was arraigned on charges he allegedly possessed a forged police placard and failed to obey a police officer after insulting her, according to the Queens district attorney’s office.
Mahlke, 48, of 42-45 77th St. in Elmhurst, allegedly yelled “Why don’t you do your job, you fat b----” to a police officer on foot patrol at the northwest corner of Queens Plaza North and 29th Street Sunday morning as his 2009 Honda Civic was stopped at a red light, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said.
When the officer approached Mahlke’s car, he allegedly attempted to drive his vehicle around her before she stopped his car by moving in front of it, Brown said.
Mahlke then allegedly pulled out a Senate official business plaque and a laminated copy of a police placard and told the officer “you don’t know who I am. I’m higher ranking than you. I work for Mayor Bloomberg,” according to the DA.
Mahlke is unemployed, Brown said.
When the officer asked for Mahlke’s license, he allegedly was unable to give her a valid one, the DA said.
Mahlke was arraigned Monday night before Supervising Queens Criminal Court Judge Deborah Stevens Modica on charges of criminal possession of a forged instrument, obstructing governmental administration, disorderly conduct and several traffic law violations, the DA said.
Mahlke, who faces up to seven years in prison if convicted of the charges, was released on his own recognizance, Brown said.
He was scheduled to return to court May 20, the DA said.
Reach reporter Howard Koplowitz by e-mail at hkoplowitz
©2010 Community News Group
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