Exclusive: The Rise And Fall Of Pedro Espada
NEW YORK (CBS 2) — Bronx Sen. Pedro Espada’s election loss is actually a gain for federal prosecutors because, sources say, it makes it a whole lot easier and a whole lot quicker to indict him.
CBS 2’s Marcia Kramer, who has been exposing the senator’s “lapses” for nearly 18 months, has the latest exclusive story.
Even after his humiliating defeat in Tuesday’s primary Espada is still playing the tough guy.
“You wish that I would disappear, but I’m telling you I’m here to stay,” Espada said.
But federal sources tell Kramer that Espada may end up eating those words, because in the wild and wacky world of federal justice it’s actually easier for them to indict him – now.
The Public Integrity section of the Department of Justice, sources say, frowns on filing charges against someone involved in an election campaign because it influences the outcome.
CBS 2 has been exposing Sen. Espada’s actions for a year and a half. Who can forget the orange ski hat he put on in April 2009 to disguise himself after Kramer caught him red handed living in the leafy suburban town of Mamaroneck, not where he is supposed to be in the Bronx with the people he represents?
All he could do was laugh at the question.
Kramer had to go to Albany back in April of 2009 to talk to him about it and he dismissed the question.
Kramer did lots and lots of exposes. One showed how he sent out thousands of campaign flyers that he some how failed to report to the campaign finance board, along with where the money came from, potentially federal mail fraud.
In June of 2009 Kramer asked him why he didn’t file campaign records.
Kramer also did stories about his alleged misuse of funds at his Bronx health clinic empire. Particularly heartbreaking was the scam janitor jobs he gave to Carlos Gonzalez and other members of his community.
Gonzalez told Kramer back on April 28 of this year that he was paid $150.
That’s $150 for two weeks work, a total of 80 hours. So he earned about $1.87 an hour. The state minimum wage is $7.15.
Eventually Attorney General Andrew Cuomo charged Espada with siphoning off $14 million from his health empire and spending it on such things as $20,000 worth of sushi.
Sources tell Kramer the FBI now plans to interview Espada employees past and present. And there’s another question: how long will Espada keep his Bronx apartment now that he no longer has to pretend he represents the Bronx?