Protest held in BX against rogue state senator

Hundreds of people protested in the Bronx Friday against state Sen. Pedro Espada, a Mamaroneck resident who helped the GOP overthrow the Democratic leadership in the Senate on Monday.

The protestors say Espada's decision to switch sides, together with Sen. Hiram Monserrate, of Queens, is a slap in the face of his constituents.

"They're overturning the government, they're overturning our decision," says Keith Gamble.

Espada said his change of heart was motivated by his desire to end the impasse in Albany and create a bipartisan coalition.

"We felt the time is right to change the leadership of state government and give this new coalition government an opportunity to succeed," he told News 12.

In the meantime, the weeklong power struggle in the state Senate is expected to spill into next week as Democrats and Republicans proceeded to file injunctions against each other in court.

The Democrats argue that the takeover was illegitimate, while the insurgent senators claim their actions were legal and permitted by Senate rules. Espada has filed a motion to dismiss an injunction filed by Senate Democrats against the GOP. That motion has led state Supreme Court Justice Thomas McNamara to adjourn the hearing in order to give Democrats time to prepare an argument.

McNamara told both sides to resolve their dispute within the Senate over the weekend without court interference. McNamara said if the senators can't sort out the leadership contest by Monday afternoon, he will reach a decision in time for the next session.

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