When I was appointed to the Select Committee to investigate the facts surrounding Senator Hiram Monserrate’s conduct the night of December 19, 2008, I promised to keep an open mind. After countless hours of reading testimony, watching presentations and videotapes, and attending meetings, I am convinced that the inquiry was thorough, transparent, fair and bipartisan.
After a careful review of the information presented to the Committee, I came to the conclusion that his behavior merited severe sanctions. I repeatedly watched the surveillance video of his building which showed him dragging Ms. Giraldo through the halls. The assault on Ms. Giraldo was clearly one of domestic violence. We must enforce our “zero tolerance” policy concerning domestic violence.
Senator Monserrate failed to cooperate with the Committee. His supporters gave conflicting, inconsistent versions of events. In what seemed to be more concern about his political future than his victim’s well being, he chose to drive her to a distant hospital, Long Island Jewish, instead of Elmhurst – a five minute walk. He failed to accept any semblance of responsibility for his actions and the harm he caused.
I believe Senator Monserrate has violated the public’s trust and damaged the integrity of the Senate. While I am willing to listen to any information Senator Monserrate provides, he has failed to respond substantively to the content of our report. In fact, his only response was the threat of a lawsuit. Accordingly, I am prepared to vote for his expulsion from the Senate.
Toby Ann Stavisky represents the 16th Senate District in Queens.