Ailsa Chang is an award-winning journalist who covers criminal justice, terrorism and the courts for WNYC. She found her way into public radio after practicing law for five years, and can definitely say that walking the streets of New York City with a microphone is a lot more fun than being holed up in the office writing letters to opposing counsel.
NY Senate to Vote on Monserrate's Expulsion
Tuesday, February 09, 2010
New York, NY –
The State Senate will likely vote today on whether to expel Senator Hiram Monserrate who was convicted of a misdemeanor for assaulting his girlfriend. WNYC's Ailsa Chang talked to Monserrate's lawyers who say Monserrate's pending appeal of that assault conviction is one reason the Senate shouldn't be considering his expulsion right now.
REPORTER: When the special senate committee issued a report recommending that Monserrate be expelled, they were very careful about saying their recommendation for expulsion or censure has nothing to do with the actual fact that Monserrate was convicted.
Monserrate's lawyers told me that that's totally disingenuous and that where we are today has everything to do with Monserrate's conviction. Had he been acquitted, there would have never been a special senate committee convened, there would never have been any report or any recommendation for his expulsion.
The Senate report says it was Monserrate's conduct only after his girlfriend was injured that makes him unfit to serve in office. It says he failed to take responsibility for the incident.