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Hiram Monserrate sentenced to federal prison

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Hiram Monserrate (file photo) Hiram Monserrate (file photo)
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Hiram Monserrate, a former New York City councilman and state senator, will spend up to two years in federal prison for funneling more than $100,000 of taxpayer money into his campaign for state Senate.

Monserrate, 45, a Democrat from Queens, pleaded guilty in May to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and one count of mail fraud in connection with the scheme to divert City Council discretionary funds, which are meant for community programs, through a nonprofit and into his failed bid for Senate in 2006, officials said.

U.S. District Judge Colleen McMahon on Tuesday sentenced the disgraced former Marine and ex-NYPD cop to 24 months in prison and ordered him to pay $79,434 in restitution, according to Rose Gill Hearn, the commissioner of the New York City Department of Investigation.

"Hiram Monserrate was undone by his greed and now will pay the price. He used a nonprofit's money to serve his own political career rather than his constituency and with today's prison sentence will forfeit his freedom," Hearn said in a statement. "DOI and the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York will continue to safeguard public funds and ensure that individuals who squander them, particularly elected officials, are held accountable."

Although he lost the 2006 Senate primary, he eventually won election to the Senate in 2008. A few weeks after the election, Monserrate was arrested on charges the slashed his girlfriend's face during an argument.

A judge eventually acquitted him on the felony counts but convicted him on a misdemeanor assault charge for dragging her by her arm through his apartment building to get her to the hospital.

In early 2010, the Senate voted to expel Monserrate.

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