Supporters are trying to spin an explanation for State Senator-elect Hiram Monserrate's alleged assault of his girlfriend. The Daily News reports, "Sources say Monserrate backers have told people the outgoing city councilman was upset to discover drugs in girlfriend Karla Giraldo's purse after they attended the Queens Democratic Party's holiday dinner on Thursday."
The pair had allegedly argued over an "unidentified" object in Giraldo's purse, before Giraldo somehow ended up with a black eye and a gash that required 20 stitches to close (the criminal complaint says that Monserrate broke a glass and hit Giraldo; Monserrate says he tripped and fell).
A State Senate Democrat tells the News, "He has been making calls and saying, 'It's not what you hear; I'm innocent... Everyone's shocked. This is pretty bad, and everyone's being quiet about it, but I think most will not give him the benefit of the doubt." Indeed: CityRoom spoke to Monserrate's colleagues in the City Councilman (the ex-cop is leaving the Council for the State Senate) who all expressed surprise at the allegations and a desire to want the justice system to get to the bottom of the matter.
The Daily Politics pointed out that former Queens ADA Mortimer Lawrence—now counsel to State Senate Democratic leader Malcolm Smith—showed up at the police station where Monserrate was being held. Smith's spokesperson said Lawrence showed up "on his own volition" (and not because Smith told him to), apparently after reading it on the blogs but "didn't know what time Lawrence had arrived at the precinct, how long he was there and what, exactly he either thought he might do or actually did while he was on the scene."
And despite calls to step down, Monserrate still plans on heading to the Senate.