By Rebecca Henely and Steve Mosco
Former City Councilman and state Sen. Hiram Monserrate was sentenced Tuesday to 24 months in prison and three years of supervised release and ordered to pay $80,000 in restitution for fraudulently using Council funds to underwrite his own election campaign.
Judge Collen McMahon delivered the sentence to Monserrate in Manhattan federal court Tuesday for his conviction on one count of mail fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud. Monserrate had pleaded guilty in May to funneling Council funds to a Corona nonprofit and then using the organization to conduct his failed 2006 Senate campaign.
“A lesson needs to be taught to any politician who would take funds from the public till,” McMahon said at the sentencing. “You go to jail every time you allow your ambition for yourself to override your conscience and judgment.”
The former councilman’s lawyer argued for community service, telling the judge that prison time would affect Monserrate’s mother, who has cancer, and his son, who has autism.