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City Council Passes Legislation That Bars Monserrate From Running for City Office

Hiram Monserrate (Facebook)

Feb. 11, 2021 By Allie Griffin

The New York City Council passed legislation today that effectively bars Hiram Monserrate and others guilty of corruption from running for local office.

The bill disqualifies anyone who has been convicted of certain felonies related to corruption or abuse of public office from being elected to major city offices.

The list of felonies includes bribery and theft of public funds, wire and mail fraud and other abuses of political office.

The bill takes effect immediately and is set to end Monserrate’s bid for the 21st District City Council seat currently held by Council Member Francisco Moya. Moya is not term limited and is running for office again.

In 2012, the former city and state lawmaker pleaded guilty to misappropriating $100,000 in public funds to finance a campaign. Monserrate was sentenced to 21 months in federal prison.

The bill should bar him from holding the seat, representing East Elmhurst, Elmhurst, Jackson Heights and Corona.

Monserrate was also convicted of misdemeanor assault and expelled from the State Senate in 2010, after being found guilty of attacking his girlfriend at the time.

The Democrat has repeatedly tried to get back into public office despite his criminal past.

Most recently, he failed to unseat incumbent Jeffrion Aubry for the 35th Assembly district in 2020. He also ran and lost against Moya in 2017 for the 21st District Council seat.

The legislation, sponsored by Brooklyn Council Member Justin Brannan, bars those convicted of corruption from the office of the mayor, public advocate, comptroller and borough presidents as well.

It was passed with a vote of 44 to 1, with one abstention. Bronx Council Member Ruben Diaz was the one ‘no’ vote.

Monserrate expressed his anger at the bill’s passage on Twitter.

“Instead of focusing on COVID19 and an economy in shambles, the NYC Council choose to use its power to strip me of a constitutional right to run,” he wrote. “They should address homelessness & garbage piling on our streets, rather than pass legislation to protect an incumbent councilmember.”

Monserrate’s campaign didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

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