From Elected Office to Prison to Elected Office, Monserrate and Gonzalez Plot Return
Ex-state senators return from prison to plot political futures (NYP)
Even after spending years in the clink, these Albany felons are raring to return to the scene of the crime. Former state Sens. Hiram Monserrate and Efrain Gonzalez Jr. are plotting political comebacks after serving prison time for fraud and conspiracy convictions, sources have told The Post.
Monserrate, 48, is running for district leader and backing candidates in the Jackson Heights, Queens, neighborhood he represented in the City Council and Senate, three sources confirmed. “He is running a slate. He is running for district leader,” a Queens political source said. “Hiram is actively recruiting people and holding meetings with his old crew. He is laying the solid groundwork to qualify.”
Gonzalez, 67, has been busy hawking his biography and planning how to run for his former Senate seat or the Assembly or Council seats in his West Bronx district, sources said. “He’s mulling options,” a Bronx political source said.
Both felons can run for office again only if a judge reverses their corruption convictions. But Monserrate might be able to run for the unpaid party post because the state public-corruption statute’s position on such jobs has not been tested in court.
Monserrate in April lost his appeal to reverse his conspiracy and mail-fraud convictions. He did not return calls.
Gonzalez is appealing his fraud and conspiracy convictions in state Appellate Court and was coy about his future plans. “I’m going to be active in the same way, but, politically, I don’t know,” he told The Post. “I have so much experience, but you don’t have to be elected to be effective.”
Monserrate was found guilty of misdemeanor assault in 2009 for slicing then-girlfriend Karla Giraldo’s face with a broken drinking glass on Dec. 19, 2008. His colleagues expelled him from the Senate on Feb. 9, 2010.
While he was locked up, his bunkmate Brian Madden wrote a fawning biography of Gonzalez, titled “The Move Behind the Move: The Rise and Fall and Rise of Efrain Gonzalez Jr.”
In the book, Gonzalez insists the feds railroaded his career and boasts that he had six girlfriends while in office, with the author likening him to a mythical hero and a famed porn star. “Keeping six women . . . happy and fulfilled was a task for Hercules, if not Harry Reems,” Madden wrote.