NEW YORK (CBS 2) — Senator Pedro Espada is being investigated by the U.S. Attorney in Brooklyn, Manhattan, and by the state attorney general.
But it’s a different kind of suit that may actually get the embattled lawmaker into court.
CBS 2’s Marcia Kramer reports that for now Espada’s legal troubles may take a back seat to his tailor troubles.
They say that clothes make the man, but if you don’t pay for them that probably makes you a deadbeat. At least that’s what embattled Espada’s tailor thinks.
“I thought out of all the people, a senator I can trust, you know, where is he going to run away? And it looks like that was my biggest mistake. I shouldn’t have done that,” said Vijay Tharwani, manager at the exclusive Custom Men shop on West 57th Street.
Tharwani told Kramer that because Espada was a state senator he wrote him up as a VIP and made him six $2,000 suits. He then gave him a 40-percent discount so the cost was only $7,200.
Espada also got another special perk. The tailor went far out of his way to please Sen. Espada he even came to his office at the Soundview Health Clinic in the Bronx to take his measurements and let him pick designer material.
Espada paid him back by stiffing him, claiming he needed to send the suits back to have the cuffs altered. But although the suits were delivered in March of 2009, they were never sent back. The tailor recently sued to get his money.
“In this economy $7,200 is a huge amount,” Tharwani said.
Besides, Vijay knows why Espada never sent back the garments.
“The suits, he’s wearing them on TV. There are some fabrics which are exclusive, so I know they are my suits,” Tharwani said.
Espada’s constituents, who probably don’t spend $1,200 a year on clothes, much less on a single suit, have a message for him.
“He should pay like everybody else,” said Charlotte Greene of the Bronx.
When asked if that makes him a dead beat Greene said, “I think so. I think he should step aside.”
“That’s wrong. That’s wrong what he’s doing,” added resident Guadalupe Garcia.
“The tailor should get paid,” added resident Esther Huggins.
A spokesman for Espada said it doesn’t suit the senator to discuss a suit about his suits.
Earlier this year Espada was accused by Attorney General Andrew Cuomo of siphoning $14 million from his Soundview Health Clinic.