Former state Sen. Hiram Monserrate has run out of legal options for recovering the Senate seat from which he was ousted earlier this year.
The state senator, who was found guilty of assaulting his girlfriend last year, has dropped the Feb. 11 civil appeal he filed in federal court after his fellow senators voted 53-8 to kick him out of office two days before that.
Monserrate announced the lawsuit January at Natives Restaurant in Jackson Heights, where Siegel claimed the Senate did not have the authority to expel the lawmaker.
“Basically we thought [the court] heard our arguments. We didn’t prevail,” said attorney Norman Siegel, who represents Monserrate in his civil suit. “We thought their wasn’t any reason to go forward since the court rejected our arguments. We respectfully disagree with both the district court and the Court of Appeals concerning the decisions on this case.”
Sources indicated Monserrate plans to proceed with the appeal of his misdemeanor assault conviction after his girlfriend, Karla Giraldo, was dragged through the lobby of his apartment building last year en route to Long Island Jewish Medical Center to be treated for a slash wound on her face. Both she and Monserrate maintained that he had cut her face accidentally. A judge found him guilty of the lesser misdemeanor charge after a bench trial in which Giraldo took the stand and said he had fallen on a glass, which had gashed her face.
The New York Post reported Monday that Monserrate has broken up with Giraldo, but the former senator could not be reached to verify the story.
The only way the former senator can get his old job back now would be to run for his seat and win the general election in November. He lost a special election in March to current Sen. Jose Peralta (D-Jackson Heights).
Monserrate earlier told TimesLedger Newspapaers that he had no plans, political or otherwise.
He is training to box for charity through a Long Island nonprofit called the Fight for Charity.
Monserrate challenged state Sen. Eric Schneiderman (D-Manhattan), who spearheaded the Senate investigation that led to his expulsion from the body, to be his opponent, but Schneiderman’s spokesman said the senator declined and did not find his former colleague’s offer funny or amusing.
Reach reporter Chauncey Alcorn by e-mail at calcorn@cn
©2010 Community News Group
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