Utah legislative leaders had a tumultuous 2010. In January, Senate Majority Leader Sheldon Killpack was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence. Killpack, a 41-year-old Republican, was driving home from a political fundraiser with a former state representative. He failed a field sobriety test and refused a breathalyzer. Killpack's father had been killed by a drunk driver when Killpack was young, and the state legislator had sponsored a 2009 Senate law that would allow the seizure of vehicles from repeated drunken drivers. Killpack resigned the day after news of his DUI broke.
Two months later, Speaker of the House Kevin Garn, 55, shocked the legislature by admitting he shared a naked dip in a hot tub with a 15-year-old girl more than 25 years earlier. Garn, a Republican, maintained that there was no sexual contact, but he did pay the woman $150,000 to stay quiet about the incident during a 2000 political run. A few days after his confession, Garn resigned from the Utah House.
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There are conflicting accounts as to why, one night in December 2008, New York State Senator Hiram Monserrate's girlfriend ended up in the hospital. Prosecutors allege the 43-year-old Bronx Democrat slashed the woman's face with a broken glass after arguing in their apartment and then forced her to a farther-away hospital outside of their neighborhood to avoid being recognized. Monserrate maintained the cut was an accident and that his girlfriend feared facial scarring if she went to the nearby hospital.
An apartment security video from that night was shown during Monserrate's 2009 trial. The video appears to show Monserrate dragging his girlfriend away from a neighbor's door and pushing her out of the apartment building.
Monserrate was convicted on a misdemeanor assault charge, and the New York Senate expelled him in February 2010. Things were quiet for the disgraced politician until he was arrested and indicted this week for mail fraud and conspiracy. The indictment alleges that Monserrate directed City Council funds to a nonprofit in Queens, the Latino Initiative for Better Resources and Empowerment or LIBRE, which he then used to help his 2006 senate primary campaign, which was ultimately unsuccessful. Tens of thousands of dollars were allegedly used for a petition drive, voter registration efforts and salaries for employees at the non-profit working on the campaign.
Monserrate pleaded not guilty in federal court and was released on a $500,000 bond. The former executive director of LIBRE pleaded guilty Monday to mail fraud.