A week after Attorney General Andrew Cuomo subpoenaed State Senator Pedro Espada, Jr., the AG's office finally revealed details about the fruit of their long, nine month investigation into the scofflaw senator. "Portions of a potential legal case against Espada were outlined this morning in a bombshell filing Cuomo's office made in Manhattan Supreme Court that asked a judge to compel Espada to cooperate with a subpoena," writes Elizabeth Benjamin at the Daily News. Is it too soon to start hoping Christmas will come early this year, with Santa tossing Espada behind bars? Today's filing has us hearing sleigh bells, and Espada hearing a witch hunt.
“This is nothing new, just an angry, frustrated response by Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, whom we have already provided with tens of thousands of documents he has requested, and will continue to do so," Espada said in a statement released today. "This is an Andrew Cuomo witch-hunt driven by his political ambitions, as evidenced in the fact that our attorneys had to learn of this complaint through the media. . . [he's now] using me, the state’s highest- ranking Hispanic elected official, as his personal political piñata." Now, now, papi, Cuomo's just trying to teach you manners!
In the papers filed today, Cuomo's office charged that Espada has blown off a subpoena issued August 25th to a management company he controls, Soundview Management Enterprises, a for-profit company created in late 2007 and soon hired for $33,000 a month to provide janitorial services to Soundview HealthCare Network, a non-profit which Espada also runs. Sounds shady already, right? What Cuomo is alleging is that the connection between the management company and the health care network "allowed Mr. Espada to effectively siphon off and otherwise divert money from Soundview (health centers) for Mr. Espada’s own personal and political benefit."
For example, "significant portions" of the funds paid to the management company allegedly went toward paying Espada’s campaign expenses, in direct violation of not-for-profit laws. The management company was also paid $400,000 per year to provide maintenance services to Soundview, despite the fact that board minutes "show no valid reason for the awarding of the contract." And of course, it wouldn't be an Espada scandal without one of his son's involved; employee payroll costs "spiked dramatically" in the campaign season, suggesting that someone was getting extra pay for political work, and Espada's son's salary "almost doubled" in that period, and appears to have terminated right after the election, the Village Voice reports.