Pedro Espada Was Maybe Mad at Democrats for Not Letting Him Give Money to His Friends

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Photo: nytimes.com

In April, Malcolm Smith and Democratic Senate leadership angered recently defected Bronx senator Pedro Espada when they refused to grant him member items for a couple of sketchy nonprofits that had ties to him. This was around the same time that he began colluding with Republicans to pull off yesterday's coup. In March, Espada requested $1,348,000 in grants for the "Bronx Human Services Council Inc.," a group only registered the week beforehand and supposedly located at the same Bronx address as one of Espada's Soundview HealthCare Network clinics. Soundview is being investigated by Attorney General Andrew Cuomo at the moment for being improperly used by Espada to promote his campaigns.

He also asked for $875,000 for something called "Green ECO Energy Incorporated," also created just that month, which listed one of Espada's lawyers, Daniel Pagano, as a contact. Pagano represents the senator in his ongoing dispute with the state Board of Elections over missing campaign filings. When pressed by Senate officials, Espada's team eventually withdrew the requests. "It was an admission on his part that he couldn’t carry out the scheme that he had wanted," one fellow Dem sniped. Speaking to the Times, Espada called the release of this information today "character assassination."

Before Defecting, Espada Sought $2 Million for Bronx Groups [City Room/NYT]