Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Andrew Cuomo: Hiram Monserrate's Lawsuit to Get State Senate Seat Back is 'Absurd'' by Glenn Blain and Celeste Katz - NY Daily News

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Ousted state Sen. Hiram Monserrate. Ruttle/AP

State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo blasted Hiram Monserrate's argument for getting his job back as "absurd" Tuesday, saying the state Senate has to be able to boot dangerous wackos.

Monserrate's colleagues tossed him from the Senate last week on a misdemeanor conviction for assaulting his girlfriend, but the former Queens councilman is suing to stop a March 16 special election to replace him - saying his expulsion trashed his civil rights and voters', too.

If Monserrate's argument held up, "the Senate [could] not expel a member who is demonstrably corrupt, insane or violent. Such a position is not only absurd, but dangerous," Cuomo argues in federal court papers filed on the Senate's behalf.

Cuomo says no voters were harmed when Monserrate was shown the door, and the courts would only "micromanage" the Legislature by stepping in.

What's more, having someone who has been convicted of domestic violence cast votes would be "repellent to the notion of responsible government," he added.

Monserrate's lawyer, Norman Siegel, disagreed.

"Currently, neither the [state] Constitution nor New York law sets forth specific grounds for expulsion," he said. "Therefore, Hiram Monserrate was unconstitutionally and illegally expelled."