As the Democratic primary race between incumbant State Sen. Jose Peralta and challenger Jessica Ramos for Queens’ State Senate District 13 moves into the final two weeks, Ramos’ campaign further distanced itself from her past work with disgraced former City Council Member and State Sen. Hiram Monserrate.
Ramos worked in Monserrate’s council office, but makes no mention of her history with him on her campaign website or in any other campaign related biographies.
Monserrate served in the city council from 2002-2008 and in the state senate for one year from 2009-2010. In 2010 Monserrate was indicted on federal corruption charges alleging that while in the council, he had used staff members of a nonprofit organization—the Latino Initiative for Better Resources and Empowerment—to perform tasks related to his unsuccessful 2006 State Senate campaign.
As a council member in 2006-07, Monserrate allocated $300,000 in discretionary city funding to LIBRE, and the indictment charged that approximately one-third of that funding went toward paying LIBRE staff for their campaign-related work.
In 2008, Monserrate was indicted on three felony and three misdemeanor assault charges in allegedly battering his girlfriend. He was convicted only on one count of misdemeanor assault, and acquitted of the other charges, but the senate voted to expel him for the incident. He later pleaded guilty to unrelated charges of felony mail fraud and mail fraud conspiracy, and was sentenced to serve two years in prison.
It is unclear when Ramos worked for Monserrate or if she had any association with LIBRE.
Ramos Campaign Spokesperson Monica Klein distanced Ramos from her work with Monserrate.
“Jessica Ramos worked in the City Council over a decade ago. From her years as a labor and immigrants’ advocate to her leadership on the local community board and other organizations to her tenure as chief of Latino media in City Hall, Jessica Ramos is running on her own record of public service — and no one else’s,” said Klein.
The primary election is Sept. 13. The district includes Corona, East Elmhurst, Elmhurst, Jackson Heights and Woodside.