Amigos Rally to Monserrate

ALBANY—Who will speak for Hiram Monserrate? His amigos.

There are now five Democratic state senators either publicly calling Monserrate to resign or for the chamber to take what action it can to rebuke him: Liz Krueger (who was the first to call for Monserrate to resign) David Valesky, Darrel Aubertine, Brian Foley and Neil Breslin. More are grumbling expletives on background.

But, Senators have told me privately, there are those in the conference who support him staying. I called State Senator Ruben Diaz Sr., who like Monserrate is part of the "four amigos" faction in the chamber, and asked him for his thoughts.

"He will not step aside, and the senate will not do anything more. It is over," Diaz told me by phone. "He has paid enough money, he has paid enough embarrassment. The case is over. Done. Finito. Se acabó."

I asked Diaz about Senator Marty Golden's continuing attacks on Monserrate.

"They're always going to be people that will try to get their way with things, when things don't come out the way they wanted. But those people that were actually accusing him without knowing, they should be embarrassed. They're embarrassed because of the verdict and now they don't know anymore," Diaz Sr. said. "They're embarrassed, and they want his blood. But his blood they will not get.

"Guilty of a misdemeanor for trying to get her to go to the hospital. Fine. If they found it was wrong for him to try and drive her to the hospital, we accept that. But the four amigos still are stronger than ever, more united than ever, and ready to work."

Diaz sent a letter to his colleagues dubbing their calls "hypocrisy" and pointing to the case of John Sabini. Another amigo, Senator Pedro Espada Jr., told the Buffalo News that "the matter was adjudicated and we don't get to do do-overs or second guesses.

I reached out to one of Monserrate's aides, who said the senators comments from yesterday still stand.

"There are no winners here today," he said then.