Senate probe of Monserrate gets underway

 

State Sen. Hiram Monserrate who faced angry calls to step down following his domestic violence conviction last month, moved a step closer Monday to learning his fate as a legislator.


A special nine-member Senate committee to investigate the case and recommend disciplinary action was formed by a unanimous vote and met for about 40 minutes MOnday night.

Little was discussed beyond laying some ground rules for hearings but the chairman, Eric Schneiderman (D-Manhattan), said he expects it to finish its work by the end of the year, said his spokesman, James Freedland.

“They will be looking into all aspects of the conviction and the conduct surrounding the case,” Freedland said.

The committee of five Democrats and four Republicans could urge that Monserrate (D-East Elmhurst) be expelled. His conviction on Oct. 15 on misdemeanor charges of hitting his girlfriend — he was acquitted of a felony — sparked outrage.

“The seriousness of these domestic violence charges and the circumstances surrounding them warrant further investigation by the senate,” read the resolution creating the committee.

Monserrate, a former police officer, will be sentenced Dec. 4.

Monserrate was not present for the vote creating the committee and a spokesman did not return a phone call seeking comment. Previously, he has said he would cooperate with the inquiry.

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