Brooklyn pols try to save Monserrate from Senate ousting

The State Senate voted to expel embattled Queens Senator Hiram Monserrate last week, but they did it without the help of a good chunk of the Brooklyn delegation.

Brooklyn State Senators Carl Kruger (D- Brighton Beach, Mill Basin), Kevin Parker (D-Flatbush), Martin Milave Dilan (D-Bushwick), Eric Adams (D-Fort Greene) and Democratic Conference Leader John Sampson (D-Canarsie) all voted against the committee’s resolution to expel Monserrate. Some of them were apparently so upset about it that they almost came to blows with other Democratic lawmakers.

In the end, the call to drum Monserrate out of the Senate Chamber was a battle of two bills — one to expel him immediately and one to expel him in six months, after he has exhausted all of his appeals on the misdemeanor conviction he received for assaulting his ex-girlfriend.

The vote to expel immediately, introduced by Senator Brian Foley, came first. The Brooklyn senators who voted against the measure wanted to vote for the second bill, which became moot when the first bill passed 53 to 8.

Others voting no were Monserrate himself and State Senators Ruben Diaz Sr. and Majority Leader Pedro Espada.

Inside sources said that the doomed order of these bills was orchestrated by Temporary President Malcolm Smith, who ensured that the bill for immediate expulsion was called first by making it a privileged bill, a card only Smith could play.

His actions may have been a final knife in the gut to Monserrate, who he blames for the near Republican coup last summer.

“There was a lot of discussion on which bill should be brought up first, then Smith suddenly made Foley’s a privileged bill,” one source said.

Both Adams and Parker said that they were going to vote for the second bill, which was drafted by Sampson.

“My vote against Senator Foley’s resolution should not be construed as one in opposition to expulsion,” said Adams. “Rather, it was a good faith attempt to avoid a judicial merry-go-round, with its interim injunctions and lawsuits, and permit completion of the judicial process. How foolish would we appear were the courts to overturn Senator Monserrate’s conviction after we had already expelled him!”

Parker, who may face the same Senate expulsion committee that Monserrate had after the assault case against him is adjudicated, said that he wanted to uphold “the principal of due process,”

“Senator Monserrate was tried, convicted and sentenced by the courts. His case has been adjudicated, but he is appealing his conviction,” Parker said. “I feel it is inappropriate of us to substitute the will of this body for the carefully reasoned and dispassionate ruling of the Trial Court – a constitutionally separate branch of government.”

“Senator Monserrate has the right to appeal his conviction, and I feel our action [to expel him] should have at least waited until Senator Monserrate had received all the due process to which he is entitled under the law,” he added.

Parker, who has been accused of speaking with his fists as much as his lips, did not comment on rumors that he nearly punched out Dyker Heights State Senator Diane Savino in a heated argument over the two bills.

According to the Daily News, Savino was going over the findings of expulsion committee when Parker started yelling and cursing at her and about Foley’s bill, which many knew that the Republicans would vote for.

“We’re not going to do anything with the Republicans!” he screamed, according to blogger Elizabeth Benjamin. “F–k the Republicans!”

When Parker stepped up to Savino, Senator Jeff Klein of Queens got in between the two Brooklyn legislators, according to sources.

“You want a piece of me?” Parker asked Klein.

“If that’s what it takes to stop this, then yes,” Klein countered.

Parker was reportedly pulled away by Sampson while Kruger and others egged the Flatbush senator on, sources said.

A call for comment about the exchange was not returned as this paper went to press.

When asked about his decision to vote against Monserrate’s immediate expulsion as well as his thoughts on being an ex-cop surrounded by a chamber filled of allegedly corrupt, convicted or otherwise combative colleagues, Adams gave this paper an appropriate gardening metaphor.

“For every weed like Monserrate, there are flowers like (Sen.) Dan Squadron (D-Brooklyn Heights) and (Sen.) Velmanette Montgomery (D- Red Hook),” he said. “That’s why bills like this are so important to look over and over again. We have to be careful gardeners to make sure we take out the weeds without killing the flowers.”

But like every gardener knows, weeds are hard to kill. As expected, Monseratte is appealing the senate’s decision in court.