Two of the State Senate's remaining "Four Amigos" (one of their number, Hiram Monserrate, was booted from the body after getting convicted of abusing his girlfriend) faced bad headlines this morning in the New York Post. First, Pedro Espada made news when the federal government froze a $10.5 million stimulus grant to his Soundview Health Center in the Bronx. Espada stands accused by Attorney General Andrew Cuomo of using Soundview's accounts as his personal ATM, and is said to have used up to $14 million of its money to fund his political campaigns and lavish lifestyle. (Last summer, the state Health Department also cut off $3.2 million in grants to Soundview, also for financial irregularities.) Meanwhile, Espada ally Carl Kruger has drawn scrutiny from the tabloid for helping arrange for $7 million in city funds to be spent on a building for the employees of Brooklyn's Community Board 18. Notably, the only two employees of the community board are Kruger's girlfriend and his sister. The Post calls this a "giveback" for a favor Kruger performed for the city — giving the go-ahead for a sewage-overflow storage plant — nearly two decades ago.
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