From the NY Post:
Broke and disgraced ex-pol Hiram Monserrate lost his high-powered defense lawyer this morning after a judge refused to let him use taxpayer money to pay his bills.
Manhattan federal Judge Colleen McMahon told the unemployed Queens Democrat that only a defendant who can afford to pay for legal representation gets to choose his lawyer.
She also called Monserrate's past relationship with lawyer Joseph Tacopina "absolutely irrelevant" to the rules governing the selection of court-appointed lawyers.
Tacopina -- who said he charges $750 an hour -- previously represented Monserrate on domestic-violence charges that got him booted from the state Senate after he was convicted of assaulting his girlfriend.
Monserrate, who's currently charged with misusing more than $100,000 in "slush" funds while serving on the City Council, declined to comment after the court hearing.
When asked what he was doing to find work, Monserrate -- who never took off his tightly buttoned, black wool coat -- only raised his eyebrows and shrugged.
In recent court papers, Monserrate claimed he had $128,000 in debts and only $100 to his name.