Senator Martin Golden (R-C, Brooklyn) is urging all members of the New York State Senate, and Senators-elect, to sign on in support of a resolution urging Senator-elect Hiram Monserrate not to file his oath of office until felony assault charges against him are resolved.
“Monserrate is facing very serious charges and it would be in his own best interests, and the best interests of the people of this state, if he delayed taking his seat until he addresses the charges against him and lets the justice system take its course,” Senator Golden said. “The last thing the people of the city and state of New York want to see is someone sitting in the Senate who is accused of committing such a serious crime.”
Under state law, Monserrate has 30 days after the first of the year to file his oath of office. If he does not file the oath, the Senate seat would be declared vacant. If Monserrate were to officially join the Senate, he would be automatically removed if he was convicted of a felony. The Senate can also take steps to try, convict and remove him, based on the seriousness of the charges, even if he is not convicted of a felony offense.
“Democrats and Republicans, elected officials and others have called on him not to take office in the Senate. I am urging every member of the Senate, as well as newly elected members who will take office January 1st, to sign on in support of my resolution,” Senator Golden said. “Members of the Senate should be held accountable to the highest standards of personal and moral conduct. Domestic violence charges are extremely serious and it’s important that everyone take a stand.”
Senator Golden is circulating his resolution to Senators and Senators-elect for co-sponsorship. He plans to pre-file his resolution before the end of this month and bring it before the full Senate when it convenes in January.
Here is the text of the resolution:
Whereas, members of the NYS Senate should aspire to the highest standards of personal and moral conduct; and
Whereas, Senate members should, by their conduct, serve as examples to the citizens of the State; and
Whereas, Hiram Monserrate, a New York State Senator Elect, has been charged with feloneous assault in an alleged incident of domestic violence; and
Whereas, Senator elect Monserrate would be expelled from the Senate pursuant to law if he is convicted of a felony; and
Whereas, Hiram Monserrate has until January 30, 2009 to file his oath of office without forfeiting his Senate seat; and
Whereas, the public interest demands that Senator elect Monserrat not sit with the body until the serious criminal charge pending against him is resolved; and
Whereas, the Legislative Law provides that the Senate may expel any member after a committee shall have investigated the charges against the senator; now therfore be it
Resolved, that the members of the New York State Senate hereby express their strong advice that Senator elect Monserrate shall not sit with the body until the criminal charge pending against him is finally disposed of; and be it further
Resolved, that a suitably engrossed copy of this resolution be delivered to Hiram Monserrate.