Ousted State Senator and abusive boyfriend Hiram Monserrate was slapped with mail fraud charges yesterday by Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, who accuses the down-trending political hack of funneling money meant for a nonprofit into his losing State Senate campaign in 2006. "Worthy nonprofits are supposed to have access to public money because they are meant to be a resource for communities, not a piggy bank for politicians," said Bharara in a statement. "Public officials who act like they are above the law may get away with it for a while, but eventually we will find you and we will prosecute you." Looking on the bright side as he left court yesterday, Monserrate shrugged off the charges as fodder for his memoirs.

Asked by a reporter if he was writing a book, Monserrate replied, "Absolutely! They gave me a couple of more chapters." He spent just ten minutes in the courtroom pleading not guilty and was released on a $500,000 bond secured with his parents' house. One employee of the former now-disbanded nonprofit, Javier Cardenas, pleaded guilty yesterday to mail fraud and conspiracy to commit mail fraud—the same charges which Monserrate himself faces. Cardenas is said to be cooperating with prosecutors; each count carries a maximum sentence of twenty years.

The nonprofit group, called LIBRE (short for the Latino Initiative for Better Resources and Empowerment, Inc.), was supposed to help needy immigrants in Queens. Monserrate steered over $2.7 million in taxpayer dollars toward the group during his two terms on the City Council, and prosecutors say he used an untold amount to finance his political campaign between July 2005 and June 2007. $2 million of that was earmarked for a community center, but the Times reports that the money was never disbursed and it was never built. But cue the tiny violins for Monserrate; his lawyer tells the Daily News, "Obviously, he's disappointed to have to go through this again. He's had a rough couple of years."

Monserrate lost that first Senate bid in a primary to State Senator John D. Sabini, but won in 2008 after running unopposed for the same seat. Later that year he was charged with felony assault and slashing his girlfriend with broken glass. Monserrate's former staffer Julissa Ferreras now holds his old Council seat; the two have become enemies, and it's rumored that Ferreras may also face criminal charges. A source close to Monserrate tells the Post he was specifically questioned by the feds about Ferreras, and later said, "I didn't hold back any punches." (That's what she said!)