How badly did Democrats in Albany want to lure turncoat senator Pedro Espada Jr. back to their side? Well, we know they crowned him majority leader of the Senate. Now, word is coming in that they put his son, Pedro G. Espada, on the Senate payroll. The son, a former Bronx assemblyman and City Council member who was voted out of office twice, started last week as "deputy director of intergovernmental relations," a $120,000-a-year job, according to Austin Shafran, a Senate spokesman. He's not replacing anybody; it's a newly created position.
"The conference wants to use Pedro's vast experience in the government and private sector to help improve communications and cooperation between the State Senate and various city, state, and federal agencies," he said. So what's that experience? Aside from his stint in elected office, Espada helped start the "Neighborhood Empowerment Center" in the Bronx, organizing "job training programs," says Shafran. He vehemently denies that the hiring was connected to the July negotiations between Democrats and Espada's legally embattled father, whose defection to the Republican side brought Albany to a monthlong standstill.