(CN) – Former New York Sen. Hiram Monserrate lost his bid to “unwind” his expulsion from the Senate after he received a misdemeanor conviction for dragging his girlfriend through an apartment lobby. The 2nd Circuit said “the protection of the Senate’s integrity justifies the expulsion.”
The Manhattan-based court upheld a February decision by U.S. District Judge William H. Pauley III, who said Monserrate can’t undo the expulsion or block the special election in March.
Monserrate’s fellow legislators voted to oust him after he was convicted of misdemeanor reckless assault for a Nov. 9, 2009, incident in which he allegedly slashed his girlfriend’s face with a broken drinking glass.
He was specifically convicted of “forcibly dragging [his girlfriend] by her arm,” according to Queens County Judge William Erlbaum.
The 2nd Circuit said any burden on voters’ rights “is justified by the state interest in maintaining the integrity of the Senate.”
Monserrate was sentenced to three years probation, 250 hours of community service, a $1,000 fine and one year of domestic abuse counseling.
His appeal is pending.
Democrat Jose Peralta won the March 16 special election for the 13th State Senate District with 66 percent of the vote, beating out Monserrate with 27 percent.