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Tension and arguments erupted between Hiram Monserrate and other Jackson Heights politicians when the ousted state senator and Assembly candidate showed up to two community events honoring the Ecuadorian community over the weekend.
Monserrate attended the renaming of a Corona street Saturday that honored the Ecuadorian community with since-reconciled ex-girlfriend Karla Giraldo at his side, although the former legislator was not invited to the event.
Before the sign was unveiled, chants of “Hey hey, ho ho, Hiram Monserrate has got to go!” rang out, with Sen. Jose Peralta (D-Jackson Heights) among the chanters.
Peralta replaced Monserrate in the Senate after Monserrate was kicked out of the body by his colleagues last year following his misdemeanor assault conviction for slashing Giraldo’s face with a broken glass.
Giraldo, who is Ecuadorian, screamed, saying the elected officials were disrespecting her heritage.
Earlier at the event, City Councilwoman Julissa Ferreras (D-East Elmhurst) was also the subject of protest as several picketers criticized her over a payment dispute involving a former intern.
Nathan Smith, a spokesman for Monserrate’s Assembly foe Francisco Moya, said the intern’s uncle, Charlie Castro, was a former Monserrate staffer and accused Monserrate of encouraging the protest to disturb the ceremony.
“We are running a non-confrontational campaign,” Smith said. “Sometimes it’s difficult to run a non-confrontational campaign when Hiram’s involved, as witnessed by the street renaming.”
At the Ecuadorian Parade in Jackson Heights Sunday, Monserrate again showed up with Giraldo.
Moya’s brother, Edgar Moya, attempted to prevent Monserrate from marching in the parade, arguing he did not have a permit to participate, Monserrate spokesman Mike Nieves said.
Smith said Edgar Moya was not involved in the dispute and that Monserrate requested to march with his campaign banner next to elected officials, but Nieves denied that took place.
After speaking with police officers and the president of the parade, Monserrate was allowed to march behind another Assembly candidate, Anthony Miranda.
Monserrate told Francisco Moya he should act like a gentleman and the two argued over who was being a “gentleman.”
“You’re not a gentlemen,” Moya said. “If you were a gentleman, it would be completely different.”
Nieves said Moya and the elected officials “can act however they want to act.”
“We’re in harmony with the Ecuadorian community,” Nieves said. “We don’t want this to be anything other than that.”
Christina Santucci contributed to this article.
Reach reporter Howard Koplowitz by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-260-4573.
©2010 Community Newspaper Group
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