NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Indicted former New York senator Pedro Espada has suffered yet another blow.
Sources told CBS 2’s Marcia Kramer on Monday his poverty health clinics in the Soundview section of the Bronx are about to lose all state funding, forcing them to shut their doors.
For years, whether Kramer was chasing him down the halls of the capital or confronting him about improprieties. Espada thumbed his nose at charges that he has acted inappropriately.
“You wish that I would disappear, but I tell you I’m here to stay,” Espada said back in September 2010.
But now it may finally be time for him to pay the piper.
Sources inside Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration told Kramer that a month-long investigation by the office of the Medicaid inspector general have turned up repeated violations of law that could deprive Espada’s Soundview Health Clinics of all Medicaid funding, in effect forcing them to close down.
Sources said part of the problem is that Pedro Espada and his son, Pedro G. Espada, have continued to run the clinics even after they were excluded from the Medicaid program last January.
Fifteen months ago then-Attorney General Cuomo filed a civil suit against Espada for using clinic funds for things like $20,000 worth of sushi, luxury cars and baseball tickets.
“This was not the private playground of Mr. Espada. These were public funds,” Cuomo said in April 2010.
Soundview spokesperson Rachael Fasciani said the clinic is still in operation.
“No notice concerning Medicaid funds have been received by our attorneys. We are alive and well and continue to provide healthcare to our community. Our center is crowded today with people receiving treatment,” Fasciani said.
However, sources told Kramer actions to close the clinics could begin as early as the end of the week. But the thousands served by Soundview will not be without care. Officials from the Department of Health and Human Services will find other clinics for Soundview’s patients.
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