A reader wrote in to report that a friend ran into a Spanish-speaking gentleman in Central Brooklyn who was carrying a clipboard with paperwork that turned out to be walking sheets and petitions for none other than expelled ex-Sen. Hiram Monserrate.

Yes, you read that whole thing right. The man was in Central Brooklyn – in the 56th AD (Annette Robinson’s district), to be exact.

Monserrate lives in Queens – in the 39th AD, which used to be represented by Jose Peralta, who vacated the seat to block Monserrate from regaining his Senate post in a March 16 special election.

That discrepancy aside, a source familiar with Monserrate’s plans confirmed that the disgraced lawmaker is indeed running for Peralta’s old seat and is indeed circulating petitions.

“Yes, it’s true,” the source said. “…When he runs, he runs hard. He could win that seat. Look at his base.”

Monserrate lost the AD to Peralta in the special election. But, as the source pointed out, Peralta was the sitting assemblyman there at the time, and Monserrate only lost the AD by a few hundred votes. Peralta and Monserrate had a summit at Somos el Futuro in Albany in April and seemed to be burying the hatchet.

UPDATE1: From Doug Forand of Red Horse Strategies and formerly of the DSCC, who is the keeper of this sort of information and is also working for Moya:

“Hiram lost his own AD by a more than 2-1 margin in the special. If that’s only ‘a couple hundred votes,’ it means that he had LESS than a couple hundred people who were willing to support him. Not exactly a groundswell of support, after all.”

Also, once upon a time (if there’s someone out there who remembers the year, please tell) Monserrate defeated the man who is the establishment Democratic candidate, Francisco Moya, in a district leader race.

UPDATE2: Again from Forand: ” In 2006, Hiram didn’t run against Francisco for district leader. He ran against (Moya’s) brother Edgar.”

Moya, a former aide to Gov. David Paterson (when he was Senate minority leader) as you’ll recall, lost a special election for Monserrate’s old NYC Council seat to Monserrate’s former aide, Julissa Ferreras, after Monserrate won the 2008 Senate election.