The Senate voted 53-8 on Tuesday night to oust Sen. Hiram Monserrate. The Queens Democrat was convicted of dragging his girlfriend through his apartment lobby but acquitted of a felony. A felony conviction would have automatically cost him his job.This was a bipartisan decision and Democrats declined to simply censure Monserrate. Expect Monserrate to launch a court battle over this decision, even though the Senate can determine the qualifications to stay in office. The NYCLU looks like its going to help Monserrate with his legal battle. His legal team is looking to file an injunction to stay the decision.
Monserrate says Tuesday's vote is depriving voters of their right to choose a representative. He has vowed to fight an explusion.
The Senate Democratic Conference agreed earlier Tuesday to put forth two resolutions to the full Senate. One of them called for Monserrate's immediate expulsion, the other to expel him by June 30 or following his criminal appeal.
Democrats declined to consider a motion to simply censure him.
Monserrate is appealing his conviction.
The dysfunctional Albany political scene just got more complicated even as the state continues facing a dire fiscal picture.