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Hiram Monserrate

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Hiram Monserrate
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New York State Senate District 13
Former member
In office
2008 - February 9, 2010
Military service
Service/branchUnited States Marine Corps Reserves
Hiram Monserrate is a former Democratic member of the New York State Senate, representing District 13 from 2008 to his expulsion on February 9, 2010. On February 9, 2010, the Senate voted to expel him, citing his misdemeanor assault conviction.

On June 8, 2009, Monserrate joined with fellow Democrat Pedro Espada in voting for Republican leadership in the senate, thus displacing the Democratic Party as the party in control.[1]

Monserrate served as a Councilman on the New York City Council. He was a candidate for the New York State Senate in 2006 but failed to be elected.


Monserrate attended the City University of New York. His professional experience included working for the New York City Police Department from 1988 to 2000. He served in the United States Marine Corps Reserves.[2]

Committee assignments


2010 special election

Early on, Monserrate filed a petition to run in the special election held March 16, 2010, to fill his former seat.[3] He turned in 5,500 signatures to get on the ballot, well over the required 3,000. Monserrate ran as an Independent on the slogan "Yes We Can."[4] Democrats backed Assemblyman Jose Peralta, who easily won the race. Monserrate remained defiant, telling supporters that "This is not the last of Hiram Monserrate."[5]


Felony indictment

On March 23, 2009, a grand jury indicted Monserrate with felony assault charges, saying that he had stabbed his girlfriend in December 2008 with a drinking glass.

Monserrate was cleared of the felony counts in October 2009, and convicted of misdemeanor assault.[6] In December he was sentenced to three years probation.

Mayor Bloomberg called Monserrate's actions "disgraceful, despicable, deplorable," but did not provide an opinion on his future, saying it was "up to the Senate."[7]


On February 9, 2010, in response to Monserrate's conviction, the New York State Senate voted to expel him by a vote of 53-8.[8] The vote came after some five hours of closed door negotiations by Senate Democrats. It was the first time since the 1920s that a member of the Legislature was forced out of office.[9]

Court battle

Monserrate immediately stated that he planned to fight for his reinstatement in court, arguing that only his constituents could vote him out. On February 19, Judge William Pauley of the United States District Court in Manhattan stated that the power of a legislative body to expel its members is "embedded in American Democracy," and denied Monserrate’s request to block his removal.[10]

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Political offices
Preceded by
New York State Senate District 13
2008-February 2010
Succeeded by
Jose Peralta (D)