Last week, we received an email from Hiram Monserrate, the former councilman and state senator who was removed from office after he was convicted of misdemeanor assault for an attack on his girlfriend in 2009.
That was the straw that broke the proverbial camel’s back, for certain, but he had already alienated his State Senate colleagues in the Democratic Party when he joined Pedro Espada of the Bronx in flipping party allegiance and joining with Republicans to give that party a 32-30 majority in the legislative body.
The move enabled the new GOP majority to replace the Democratic senate majority leader with one from their own party.
Since then, Monserrate has launched several failed bids to regain elected office, essentially running for any seat that opens up in his old Queens district centered around Corona, Jackson Heights and the surrounding neighborhoods.
Monserrate’s legal troubles weren’t over with the assault, and in 2012 he was sentenced to two years in prison for steering City Council discretionary funds to a local nonprofit to pay staff members to work on one of his first failed State Senate campaign, which took place while he was still a councilman.
In 2018, Monserrate was able to win an election of sorts when he was elected a district leader in the Queens Democratic Party. The post is a minor one usually filled by loyal members of the party, but it is an elected post nonetheless.
Generally, nobody bothers to challenge the person who the party installs in the positions, so district leaders for the most part hold the job until they no longer want it.
So the fact that Monserrate was able to win shows that, despite all his past troubles and controversies, there are still people out there who support him.
Now, back to that email we mentioned to open this column. Monserrate still stays fairly visible in the community, no doubt keeping his profile up for his next run for office.
Last week, he helped organize a Three Kings Day celebration that handed out gifts to about 500 children in Queens. A worthy endeavor indeed, despite how you might feel about Monserrate personally.
What caught our eye was the email address the press release was sent from: councilmanmonserrate@…!
Councilman Monserrate? Last time we checked, Francisco Moya was the councilman for the district, not Hiram Monserrate.
We guess Monserrate figures he can fool some people who maybe don’t follow local politics that closely into thinking he is actually the City Council member for the area. In fact, it will probably work on some.
We guess there is nothing to prevent anyone from setting up a misleading email address and using it, even if it is dishonest. Sad.
If you have ever had anything like this happen to you and want to vent about it, drop us a line at 2021GrammyWinnerPolPosition@queensledger.com.