Convicted felon Hiram Monserrate is plotting the next step in his political comeback.
The twice-disgraced Democrat filed papers with the Board of Elections Tuesday to challenge Assemblyman Jeffrion Aubry for his 35th Assembly District seat representing East Elmhurst, LeFrak City and parts of Corona.
“He has not announced he is running, but he is still strongly considering it,” a source close to Monserrate said. “He’s opened a committee to raise funds as obligated by law and we will be making an announcement soon.”
The former city cop turned politician went off the rails in 2009 when he was expelled from the state Senate after he was convicted of assaulting and slashing his then-girlfriend Karla Giraldo in the lobby of his Jackson Heights apartment building in an attack that was captured on security cameras. Two years later as a member of the City Council, Monserrate, pleaded guilty to federal corruption charges of mail fraud and conspiracy for misusing council funds to pay campaign expenses.
For that, he spent two years in federal prison. Now 52, Monserrate is a district leader in Aubry’s district after he defeated George Dixon by 329 votes last year. He has used his non-paid position to rebuild his political comeback following a stinging loss in a bid to replace Councilwoman Julissa Ferreras-Copeland in 2017. When she unexpectedly decided against running for a third term and retired, Monserrate saw the vacant seat as an opportunity to run.
Francisco Moya found the notion of Monserrate regaining his old city council seat representing Corona so repulsive that he stepped down after seven years in the state Assembly to block him.
Moya captured 55.6 percent of the vote in that very contentious race, but Monserrate was still able to muster 44.4 percent based on support in East Elmhurst and LeFrak City, both in Aubry’s district, which he has represented since 1992. Aubry is the current Speaker Pro Tempore in the Assembly, where he is a member of the powerful Ways and Means Committee.
QNS reached out to Aubry and is awaiting a response. Meanwhile, Moya fired a shot across Monserrate’s bow for even considering a challenge for Aubry’s seat.
“A convicted domestic abuser and disgraced politician convicted of stealing taxpayer money want to go after a man who is synonymous with the social justice movement in this state and who ushered in some of the most significant criminal justice reforms we’ve ever seen,” Moya said Tuesday. “Assemblyman Jeff Aubry is a pillar of dignity and public service. This challenge is a joke.”
On Wednesday, Moya went off on Monserrate again.
“One of these men slashed his girlfriend across the face with a piece of broken glass, misappropriated taxpayer money to benefit his own political campaign and admitted to federal corruption charges,” Moya said. “The other is Assemblyman Jeff Aubry, a man of impeachable integrity. Is this even a question?