In yet another one of the scandals beleaguering New York State politics in recent years, former State Senator Hiram Monserrate was sentenced to 24 months in prison today after pleading guilty in May to mail fraud charges.
Mr. Monserrate was convicted of misusing $109,000 in City Council grants to fund a failed State Senate campaign in 2006. A member of the City Council at the time, Mr. Monserrate directed the money to a group in his Queens district, the Latino Initiative for Better Resources and Empowerment.
Former Councilman Larry Seabrook was convicted of corruption earlier today, and pursuant to the rules governing the City Council, he was instantly removed from office. Just moments ago, Mayor Michael Bloomerg declared the special election’s date to replace Mr. Seabrook will coincide with the 2012 general election on November 6th — but that doesn’t mean candidates aren’t already stepping up.
Andy King, a former labor organizer with 1199SEIU, told us he definitely plans to run in this upcoming special election. Mr. King performed strongly running against Mr. Seabrook in 2009, taking in over 30% of the vote to the incumbent’s 55%, which, combined with his connections to labor, may make him one of the frontrunners for the seat.
“Councilman Larry Seabrook abused the power of his office to influence public contracts and to fund his own corrupt friends and family plan,” US Attorney Preet Bharara said, according to the New York Post.