Diaz Sr. Throws a Stone at Peralta

ALBANY—State Senator Ruben Diaz Sr. has a message for Assemblyman Jose Peralta: “There’s a saying in Puerto Rico: if you have glass windows, don’t throw stones.”

I called Diaz to ask him about a column this morning by Juan Gonzalez which said Peralta had steered over $500,000 to a dubious non-profit organization with ties to his family. Peralta is running in a primary against Hiram Monserrate, who like Diaz is a member of the “amigos” faction in the State Senate.

“When the FBI gets that, he’s going to have a lot of explaining to do,” Diaz continued. “I believe that to give money to an organization that is not functioning, to give money to an orgnization where you parents are related and to give money in this way is not helping the community. Assemblyman Peralta was accusing Monserrate of not helping his community, I think that he has to look upon himself to see how he is.”

Wait a minute…funneling state money into a non-profit you control? I’ve heard this story before somewhere. Oh right! State Senator Pedro Espada Jr., another “amigo” of Monserrate and Diaz, has been doing it for years!

“You asked me about if I read the paper this morning about Assemblyman Peralta,” Diaz said when I pointed this out. “And I’m telling you that my message for Assemblyman Peralta is that if you have glass windows, don’t throw stones.”

Peralta has the support of several elected officials in and around the Queens district as well as the Empire State Pride Agenda, which endorsed him this week after Monserrate voted against same-sex marriage, along with Diaz and six other Democrats.

Monserrate was sentenced to probation last week for manhandling his girlfriend and faces an Inquisition Panel that could pave the way for his expulsion to the Senate.

Monserrate went on NY1 to defend himself and attack the Inquisition Panel. This morning, Peralta told Liz he was “appalled and disgusted by what I heard.”