Updated 02/10/2010 11:14 PM
Monserrate's Expulsion Challenge Delayed By Snow
To view our videos, you need to
install Adobe Flash 9 or above. Install now.
Then come back here and refresh the page.
Queens Senator Hiram Monserrate has promised to legally challenge his expulsion from the State Senate, once the courts reopen Thursday.
His attorney, Norman Siegel, says only the voters in Queens have the right to remove their senator from office.
"The case involves substantial questions concerning what a constitutional democracy is all about. And it's about the right of the voters to decide who they want to represent them. It's about the rule of law, it's about the due process of law," Siegel said.
On Tuesday night, the State Senate voted 53-to-8 to expel Monserrate because he was convicted of assaulting his girlfriend, Karla Giraldo.
Senator Eric Schneiderman, who chaired the committee that investigated the Monserrate case, defended the move during an appearance Wednesday night on NY1's "Inside City Hall."
The Manhattan lawmaker denied that the decision was politically motivated.
"At the end of the day, someday, he's got to take a look in the mirror," Schneiderman said. "The person who's responsible for his situation is Hiram Monserrate. The rest of us didn't assault someone. The rest of us didn't lie about it. It's a tragic situation but the fact that he continues to portray himself as the victim isn't helping him, isn't helping us and won't help him in court."
Schneiderman says the senate has the legal right to "police its own house."
Governor David has called a special election for the now-vacated seat on March 16th.
Attorney General Andrew Cuomo said his office is prepared to defend the senate's decision.