Monserrate on Returning to Politics

Hiram Monserrate (Photo via Queens Latino)

[Correction: This story has been updated to reflect the fact that Monserrate was convicted solely of a misdemeanor assault in 2009 prior to his 2010 expulsion from the state senate, not a felony.]

Queens Latino Editor Javier Castaño reports that the colorful and controversial Hiram Monserrate, former state senator and city council member, plans on returning to politics. In an interview over breakfast at the Jax Diner on Northern Boulevard in Queens, Monserrate criticized his one-time chief of staff and successor on the NY City Council, Julissa Ferraras, saying that “running against Julissa is one of the options I’m contemplating.”

Monserrate, who in the State Senate represented the 13th district which includes Jackson Heights, Corona and Elmhurst, was expelled in 2010 following a misdemeanor assault conviction in connection with a dispute with his then-girlfriend. Later that year, he was indicted on federal corruption charges and in 2012 he pled guilty to mail fraud charges. Last year, Monserrat attempted a political comeback by running for the volunteer position of 35th District Leader for Corona and Elmhurst, a position he lost.

Monserrat told Queens Latino:

“I have made many mistakes, I have sinned, and I ask for forgiveness. As a person I have fallen and am learning to fly again because I feel passion for my community, and I want to fight for its development,” Monserrate said after [he] finished his breakfast.

In the Corona, Elmhurst and Jackson Heights neighborhoods there are many residents who want Monserrate to return to politics because he is forceful, has style and passion. Certain politicians don’t want to see him, others are scared of him, and many women are not willing to forgive him because he physically abused his girlfriend. “I know and I want to change their opinion about me,” said Monserrate.

The article appears in both Spanish and English. Among other things, Monserrate in the article is quoted as calling the Roosevelt Avenue Business Improvement District “a joke,” and he faults Ferraras for negotiating with developers. For his comments on various Queens politicians and what he had to say about “God’s job,” go to Queens Latino.

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