Thursday, April 22, 2010

Espada to enter Albany's Pantheon of convicts?

State Senate Majority Leader Pedro Espada, of coup infamy, is reported under investigation for alleged corruption. According to The New York Times, Attorney General Andrew Cuomo alleged that that Mr. Espada, his family and his political aides had siphoned more than $14 million from a health care nonprofit he founded to pay for meals, vacations and campaign expenses.

The organization's board approved a $9 million severance package for Espada, reported the NYT.

The not-for-profit, surprise surprise, receives the 'vast majority' of its funding from taxpayers.

If convicted, Espada would join a long list of high-ranking New York leaders in recent times to be forced out of office due to criminal activity.

-Assembly Speaker Mel Miller (convicted of fraud, 1991)

-Chief Judge Sol Wachtler (convicted of intimidation and attempted kidnapping, 1993)

-Comptroller Alan Hevesi (convicted of defrauding the government, 2006)

-Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno (convicted of corruption and mail fraud, 2009) (note: he resigned during the investigation but before the indictment)

-Governor Eliot Spitzer (we all know that story)

This list does not even include lower level dregs like convicted domestic abuser and expelled senator Hiram Monserrate.

Update: Commenter Bob from Planet Albany blog points out that during the current legislative session, all 62 members of the Senate has voted to make Espada either president pro temp (and thus at the time acting lieutenant governor) or majority leader.

1 comment:

PlanetAlbany said...

A nice feature of this case is that in the current legislative session, every single member of the Senate has voted to make Espada either president pro tempore or majority leader.