NEW YORK (AP) — Ex-lawmaker Pedro Espada Jr. is preparing for a federal trial on embezzlement charges this week in New York.
Espada and his son are accused of pilfering state grants directed to the Soundview Health Center to pay for tickets for Broadway shows, a down payment on a Bentley and a birthday party pony, among other things. Prosecutors say the spending of more than $500,000 also included tickets for sporting events and concerts, posh restaurant tabs and a petting zoo.READ MORE: Former Aide Accusing Gov. Cuomo Of Sexual Harassment Says She Believes Governor Was Propositioning Her For Sex
Espada has described the indictment by the U.S. attorney’s office and then-state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo as a political “witch hunt.” The charges ultimately cost him his state Senate seat.READ MORE: Gov. Lamont Lifts Most COVID Capacity Limits In Connecticut, But Maintains Mask Mandate
Meanwhile, the beleaguered Bronx health care clinics he founded are fighting to stay open to serve some of New York’s poorest neighborhoods.
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