Convicted felon files paperwork to run for northwest Queens City Council seat

Hiram Monserrate gets new attorney

Despite a felony conviction, misdemeanor conviction and several losing bids to get back into public office, Hiram Monserrate is once again running to represent northwest Queens in the City Council. 

Monserrate, who served 21 months in federal prison after being found guilty of corruption charges stemming from his time in the City Council from 2002 to 2008, has filed paperwork with the New York City Campaign Finance Board to run to represent District 21 in the city’s legislative body.

In addition to the corruption charges, Monserrate was found guilty of misdemeanor assault in 2009, after he assaulted his then-girlfriend while serving as a New York state senator. Following the conviction, Monserrate’s colleagues voted to expel him from the Senate. 

A spokesperson for Councilman Francisco Moya, who currently represents District 21 – which encompasses Corona, Jackson Heights, East Elmhurst and LeFrak City – said that Moya was confident Monserrate’s bid at the seat would be rejected by the voters. 

“Over the past 10 months, as Central Queens was the epicenter of this pandemic, Council member Francisco Moya has been focused on delivering for his neighbors and for working families across the city – from massive mutual aid programs to taking on wealthy tech companies on behalf of delivery workers,” said Matt Rey, a spokesperson for Moya’s campaign. “The community has rejected Hiram Monserrate four times and will do so again, not only because of how badly he has betrayed everyone’s trust, but because we need real leadership to recover from this pandemic.”

A spokesperson for Monserrate said the campaign is yet to kick off and wouldn’t comment further on the convicted felon’s run. 

Monserrate recently ran to unseat incumbent Jeffrion Aubry in Assembly District 35 during the June 2020 Democratic primary. Though he picked up 2,759 votes in the race, Aubry won the race with a little over 65 percent of the vote.

This wouldn’t be the first time Monserrate has challenged Moya in a primary. 

In 2017, Moya, in what was his first bid for the City Council seat, beat out Monserrate by around 700 votes. The pair also faced off in 2010, when Moya defeated Monserrate in the primary race to represent the 39th State Assembly District.