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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Bronx Pols Reluctant to Criticize Monserrate; Diaz, Sr. Even Praises Him

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Many, if not all, of the Bronx’s elected officials have hosted, or attended, events and rallies designed to shed light on the crime (which is more prevalent in the Bronx than elsewhere in the city), honor the victims, and condemn the perpetrators.

It’s been interesting, then, following local pols’ reaction – or lack of reaction – to the conviction last week of State Sen. Hiram Monserrate of Queens, who was found guilty of misdemeanor assault of his girlfriend.

With the exception of Jeff Klein, none of Monserrate’s Senate colleagues here in the Bronx have been willing to criticize him, at least publicly, let alone demand his removal from office.

State Sen. Ruben Diaz, Sr., for one, seems amused, not angry. “We are still the Four Amigos!” Diaz told reporters – a reference to himself, Monserrate, Pedro Espada, and Carl Kruger – after Monserrate was found not-guilty of the more serious felony assault charge, which would have forced him to step down.

Diaz later sent out a press release, which said, in part: “Senator Monserrate was found guilty of trying to do good by forcing his girlfriend to go to the hospital for treatment.” He said he hopes to officiate at Monserrate's wedding. (As columnist Clyde Haberman notes in today's Times, it can't be easy planning a wedding when the groom and bride aren't allowed to talk to each other.)

Espada, another friend of Monserrate's (the two men helped bring the Senate to a standstill this summer), is similarly nonplussed by the conviction. "As it relates to Albany business, I think it's something that should be put behind us now," Espada said, according to The Buffalo News.

Ruth Hassell-Thompson, who chairs the Senate’s domestic violence task force, insists no one is "anxious to see this swept under the rug." But, at the same time, she hasn't exactly rushed out to reproach her colleague. She believes the Senate should wait until December, when Monserrate is sentenced, to decide how to punish him.

Jose M. Serrano, meanwhile, has yet to speak on the matter. And neither has Eric Schneiderman, although he’s been tapped to lead a committee that will consider possible disciplinary action against Monserrate.


Council members Annabel Palma and Melissa Mark-Viverito just released a joint statement which said, in part:

Hiram has broken the public’s trust and it is our hope that he will now demonstrate leadership by stepping down from his position. Remaining in office would be a disservice to his district and his constituents.



  2. This is Mark Rodriguez from The Politcal Parent Party and I find it very interesting how our political leaders like Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein and State Senator Ruth Hassell-Thompson are quick to initiate Domestic Violence legislation that will create more harm than good. This is an issue that cannot be narrowly defined into a criminal act as many of our politicians have done. And until the day some intelligence is used on how to handle the many complex levels of domestic violence, families will continue to be divded and destroyed, reputations will be tarnished and domestic violence will continue to an even greater extent. I believe in educaton, prevention and treatment rather than immediate criminal prosecution especially on bogus allegations that are used as tactics in Family and Divorce Courts in NYC. Some food for thought for Helene Winstein and Ruth Hassell-Thompson now that the issue has hit home with Monserrate.

  3. Anonymous you are so right were is: Congressman Jose Serrano, Congressman Engel,BP Ruben Diaz Jr., Assemblywomen Carmen Arroyo,Councilwoman Maria Arroyo, Councilman Oliver Koppell, Assemblyman Jeff Dinowitz, and our newly elected Councilman Fernando Cabrera, Councilman Jimmy Vacca, Assemblyman Mike Benedetto, Assebmlyman Michael Benjamin. IS Annabel Palma going to tell County Leader Carl Heastie to spank Rev. Diaz ( The Bronx top Homophobic) for saying that Monserrate was just trying to do good,that this is a racial problem. Yea I Bet let seat and wait. God Bless up and coming New Leader Mark Rodriguez.

  4. Wow Annabel Palma has something to say. The people of the 18th CD are glad to know that she is not a GHOST.

  5. Annabel doesnt always need to get the FRONT PAGE headlines like the rest of these do-nothing headline grabbing politicians. Sometimes it is better to work quietly.

  6. The problem is she does not even working quietly. Anonymous you must not live in her district or you are one of her buddies. The woman is a WASTE her people should be a shamed of her. Walk her district ask the people that walk into her office. Please give me a break.

  7. Mr Rodriguez of The Political Parent Party and others-remember-this is Domestic Violence Month-the actions--or more importantant---inactions by our leaders on the State Senate Issue will be critical and should be remembered.

    OR I guesss....if Rev Diaz can assist to put together a wedding---in Albany--while the couples are not supposed to be talking---means--he has a great after political life in weddding arraignments............NOW if he can get to the real business....LOWERING OUR TAXES!!!!

    PS. And to Assemblywoman Naomi Rivera's Credit, I know personally, how important family issues are to her. Her upcoming "Walk with me" Domestic Violence walk is 4 years old-and growing!!!!

  8. If your so politically smart..... You should've ran against her....Annabel does a great job. Aside from Ruben Diaz Jr. we have no latino leadership other than Annabel. Better yet critize the delagtion the district has not the council member that works.

  9. Annabel Palma should be commended for bravely stepping up during Domestic Violence Awareness Month to publicly state what every thinking New Yorker is feeling right now: Hiram Monserrate must respect his constituents by stepping down. Violence against women is always unacceptable, no matter who perpetrates it. We can only hope other leaders, both political and non-political, will follow in the brave footsteps of Councilmember Palma. Ms. Palma, as a woman, I thank you for stepping up! Mr. Monserrate, please step down!

  10. Annabel Palma does not come close to being a latino leader. She has contributed nothing to the Bronx or her community. Grow up you know we have many more latino leaderships in the Bronx. You must just be one of those people with blinders on or Annabel herself. Please tell us what has she done to make her a great latino leader. Give me a break. Lets hope the Green Party gives a good run. Maybe now she do some work.

  11. I know Mr.Rivieccio didn't intend for the humorous irony in his comment (it's more likely that the ironic thrust of his comment flowed from his border line illiteracy), but to describe Diaz Sr. as presiding over "weddding arraignments' is pretty funny.

  12. LOL mr Xerxes.........

    Its not my illiteracy, its Mr Diaz's comments to reporters, that "he hopes to preside over Hiram's future wedding

  13. the humor is in the difference between the word "arraignments" and "arrangements"

    arraign [əˈreɪn]
    vb (tr)
    1. (Law) to bring (a prisoner) before a court to answer an indictment
    2. to call to account; complain about; accuse

    In light of Mr. Monserrate's legal woes...the irony is pretty funny.....

  14. OMG

    Your right.....unintended,........buttttttttt


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