NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Former New York senator Pedro Espada, who is accused of looting his clinic’s federal funds, drew cheers of support from patients Tuesday as he assured them Soundview Health Clinics is not closing or losing its Medicaid license.
Sources inside Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration told CBS 2’s Marcia Kramer Monday that a month-long investigation by the office of the Medicaid inspector general have turned up repeated violations of law.
Espada had a stern message for Cuomo saying, “You are not going to penetrate this fortress, you are not going to penetrate my arms because I am fully supported by God, by the people of this community and by the court system.”
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He accused Cuomo of trying to pollute the jury pool ahead of his upcoming corruption trial.
“Guess what Andrew Cuomo would do with his personal obsession to take on and dominate my world and my manhood? What he would do is say, ‘I told you he was a quitter, I told you I’d take care of him and now I’ll finish the job by taking care of Soundview,'” Espada said.
While clinic officials insisted it was not in danger of closing they urged patients to call the governor’s office and ask to keep it open.
Sources said 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.
According to sources, actions to close the clinics could begin as early as the end of the week. Officials from the Department of Health and Human Services would find other clinics for Soundview’s patients.
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