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Just in case you were looking for further evidence that Albany is a useless, dysfunctional mess, now you have it: Five months after Democrats took control of the State Senate, it appears Republicans are back in charge after two scandal-plagued Democrats—Pedro Espada Jr. of the Bronx and Hiram Monserrate of Queens (left)—suddenly decided to cross the aisle this afternoon. Monserrate, as you may recall, is under indictment for allegedly slashing his girlfriend's face with broken glass last December. If he's eventually convicted of assault, Monserrate will lose his seat, which will mean the chamber will be evenly split between Democrats and Republicans—and will be without a tie-breaking vote—until the 2010 elections. [NYT, NYDN, NYP]