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Disgraced Ex-Senator Hiram Monserrate Launches Bid for City Council

By Katie Honan | May 17, 2017 9:32am
 Monserrate, who spent time in federal prison, has announced a plan to return to office.
Monserrate, who spent time in federal prison, has announced a plan to return to office.
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New York State Senate

CORONA — Hiram Monserrate, who was removed from the state senate for assaulting his girlfriend and served time in federal prison for fraud, is officially running against his former aide Julissa Ferreras-Copeland for a seat in the City Council.

The former politician announced on NY1 that he’s ready to “move forward” from his previous mistakes — and wants to put his community's needs first. 

“I would say I have made my mistakes,” he told Road to City Hall host Errol Louis on Tuesday, which include convictions for assault, mail fraud and conspiracy, the latter of which put him in a federal prison. 

“My mistakes are now in my past, several years ago. I have moved on, my life has moved forward, everything moves forward.”

Monserrate began his comeback last year, running for a district leader position and losing by only 57 votes.

More recently, he has spoken out against the development plan for Willets Point, calling the development plan "the greatest crime perpetuated on the county of Queens.”

Although Monserrate worked out what he said was a more favorable deal with the city in 2009, the current plan was negotiated by Ferreras-Copeland in 2013.

He’s held press conferences and protests at both Willets Point and the White Plains appeals court where judges heard arguments in the case against the “Willets West” mall in a City Field parking lot.

It's been part of his "grassroots" effort to get back into office, in spite of his convictions.

"There is a very strong impulse in the community of support in this campaign," he said.

As of Tuesday, when he filed with the Campaign Finance Board, he had raised nearly $10,000, mostly through small donations and local donors. 

Yet it's far from the more than $356,000 raised by Ferreras-Copeland, who insiders say has been backed by Mayor Bill de Blasio for council speaker.

Her spokeswoman declined to comment on Monserrate's run.