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Judge Upholds Expulsion of NY Senator Hiram Monserrate

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By Kamika Dunlap on February 19, 2010 12:15 PM

So far, State Sen. Hiram Monserrate is on the losing side of his legal battle to fight his expulsion.

According to the Associate Press, a judge rejected his attempt to block Monserrate's expulsion from the Senate and to stop a special election March 16 to replace him.

Last month, the New York Senate voted 53-8 to oust Monserrate. The vote makes Monserrate the first sitting state lawmaker expelled since 1861.

As previously discussed, Monserrate was convicted of misdemeanor assault for dragging his bleeding girlfriend, Karla Giraldo, through the lobby of his apartment building.

Monserrate was sentenced to three years probation and domestic abuse counseling.

His girlfriend said it was an accident when Monserrate smashed a glass into her face, causing bloody injuries that required 40 stitches.

Monserrate filed a civil suit challenging his removal, claiming it violated his due process and the rights of the voters who elected him.

New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo says Monserrate's lawsuit to get his senate seat back is "absurd."

The New York Daily News reports that Cuomo argued in federal court papers filed on the Senate's behalf that no voters were harmed when Monserrate was shown the door.

On the other hand, Monserrate's lawyer, Norman Siegel, disagreed. He says his client was unconstitutionally and illegally expelled because no New York laws specifically cover expulsion.

As far as the NY Senate is concerned, they say they make the rules and must expel members like Monserrate to protect the Senate.

As previously discussed, Monserrate apologized for any discredit his conduct brought to the Senate. But Monserrate's colleagues have said his conduct damaged the integrity of the Senate.

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