For Immediate Release
February 21, 2011
Senator Reverend Ruben Diaz Asks: "Who Authorized $376,464?"
New York State Senator Reverend Ruben Diaz (D-Bronx) issued the following statement after release of a report that his colleagues in the Senate spent in $376,464 in legal fees to oust Hiram Monserrate from office last year.
“We now know how much money was spent to hire outside legal counsel and staff assistance to expel Hiram Monserrate from the Senate. Since the expulsion of Hiram Monserrate was touted as a major accomplishment for Eric Scheniderman, who chaired that Special Committee, and who stressed this effort when he ran for Attorney General, I would like to make the following inquiries:
Who authorized $376,464 to be spent on outside legal services and legal staff to expel Hiram Monserrate from office when the State Senate is already staffed with more than 150 lawyers and plenty of staff?
Did Senator Jeffrey Klein, another licensed attorney, authorize the hiring of outside legal counsel and legal staff for $376,464 to be paid to expel Hiram Monserrate?
To whom were Kaye Scholer’s rates disclosed at the time that law firm was hired to expel Hiram Monserrate?
Was the firm of Kaye Scholer and its partners thoroughly vetted to determine that there was no actual or potential conflict of interest between those Senators who championed the cause of ousting Hiram Monserrate and the members of that firm?
Do any of my colleagues in the State Senate have any connections between them and the attorneys at the Kaye Scholer firm?
Did members of the firm of Kaye Scholer provide any assistance to help Eric Schneiderman in his campaign for Attorney General or provide assistance to the re-election of any other New York State Senators?"
For further information, please contact Senator Diaz at (718) 496-4793.