ALBANY, N.Y – The New York Senate voted Tuesday night to expel a senator convicted of a misdemeanor charge of assaulting his girlfriend, a resolution the lawmaker assailed as an injustice to the people who elected him.
The Senate voted 53-8 to oust Sen. Hiram Monserrate, a Queens Democrat who at trial last year was convicted of dragging girlfriend Karla Giraldo through his apartment lobby in December 2008 but acquitted of felony assault. A felony conviction would have automatically cost him his job.
Attorney Steve Hyman said he and Monserrate will file a federal lawsuit challenging his removal as soon as possible.
Gov. David Paterson said he will call a special election for March 16 to fill the Senate seat. The Democrats hold a narrow 32-30 majority including Monserrate.