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Monserrate Committee Recommends Expulsion

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A New York state senate special committee recommended Thursday that senator Hiram Monserrate, a Queens Democrat who voted against the marriage equality bill last month, be expelled or censured in the wake of his conviction for assaulting his girlfriend.

The New York Daily News reported the committee's findings this morning, which were anticipated. In October, Monserrate was convicted of misdemeanor assault in a December 2008 incident that left his girlfriend, Karla Giraldo, with 20 stitches around her left eye after she was attacked with a broken glass of water.

"The select committee finds that the nature and seriousness of Senator Monserrate's conduct, as demonstrated by the surveillance video and other unrebutted evidence outlined in this report, showed a reckless disregard for Ms. Giraldo's well-being and for the severity of her injury," said Thursday's special report, according to the Daily News.

"We therefore find, under the particular facts and circumstances presented here, Senator Monserrate's misconduct damages the integrity and the reputation of the New York state senate and demonstrates a lack of fitness to serve in this body," continued the report.

"Accordingly, the select committee recommends that Senator Monserrate be sanctioned by the full senate, and that the senate vote to impose one of two punishments: expulsion or in the alternative, censure with revocation of privileges."

Monserrate plans to fight any attempt to expel him. The ultimate decision on whether to hold an expulsion or less serious censure vote rests with senate majority leader John Sampson, who must consider how the senator's removal would affect the Democrats slim 32-30 lead in the chamber.

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