Five months after a jury convicted the former State Senate powerbroker (and Four Amigos alumnus) on four counts of theft, Pedro Espada Jr. stood in Brooklyn federal court yesterday and pled guilty to one charge of tax evasion. “Yes, Your Honor, I accept responsibility,” he said, although he didn’t apologize for embezzling $400,000 from his Bronx healthcare charity, notes the New York Times. Espada’s confession was part of a deal with the government, whereby remaining charges against him will be dropped and he won’t contest his prior convictions.
Though Espada said he felt “relief” that he can now move on with his life, he still faces up to seven years in prison and a wrecked reputation. Hence, this gloating statement from Governor Andrew Cuomo: “Mr. Espada’s reaction was to lash out again and again and to falsely disparage and accuse my office of engaging in a politically motivated witch hunt. Today, I give Mr. Espada the last word — when he says, ’Guilty.’”