New York, NY —
Newly elected Democratic state Senate Majority Leader Malcolm Smith says he'll meet with fellow senators this week to discuss whether Queens Democrat Hiram Monserrate will be able to handle his duties in the chamber.
REPORTER: Monserrate has been charged with assaulting his girlfriend. Smith emphasizes that Monserrate is innocent until proven guilty of any charges.
SMITH: We want to make sure people know that we understand that this is a serious matter there's no question about it. Nobody accepts violence against anyone, but at the same time we want to let the process play itself out.
REPORTER: Smith made his comments at Gracie Mansion Friday after having a brief meeting with Mayor Bloomberg to discuss the state's $15 billion budget deficit.
Monserrate is accused of assaulting his girlfriend at his apartment by breaking a glass and cutting her near her eye which required 20 stitches. He contends it was an accident and his girlfriend, Karla Giraldo, has not pressed any charges.