Thursday, January 7, 2010

AG Cuomo turns up heat on Sen. Pedro Espada with new subpoena over Senate expenses

Wednesday, January 6th 2010, 9:30 PM

Senate Majority Leader Pedro Espada is being asked to provide financial information and communications related to the Bronx clinic he founded
Smith for News
Senate Majority Leader Pedro Espada is being asked to provide financial information and communications related to the Bronx clinic he founded

ALBANY - Attorney General Andrew Cuomo stepped up his probe of Senate Majority Leader Pedro Espada Wednesday with a new subpoena.

Cuomo's office is seeking a broad range of materials related to the Soundview Health Care Network, the Bronx clinic Espada founded, and his legislative member items, three sources said.

The subpoena, served to the secretary of the Senate's office, asks for information about Espada's financial disclosure forms and Senate expenses, the sources said.

It seeks all mobile communications like e-mails, text messages and cell phone records for Espada and his staff.

"It's a kitchen sink kind of thing," one source said. Cuomo's office has been looking into whether Soundview misused funds to aid his political campaign.

Investigators are believed to be probing how Espada operates Soundview, how the network is funded, and whether he mixed Senate expenses with his Soundview role.

There are also questions about whether Espada omitted information from financial disclosure forms filed with the state.
"The investigation is wratcheting up," a second source said.

Cuomo's office has been probing Espada for months, but this is the first subpoena to the Senate.

Espada, a Bronx Democrat, last year gave $1.77 million in taxpayer money he controlled to the New Bronx Chamber of Commerce. The organization asked for just $50,000.

The gift came after Senate Democrats rejected Espada's bid for $2 million for two nonprofits linked to Soundview, Green Eco. Energy Inc. and Bronx Human services Council Inc., a source said.

Espada denies any wrongdoing.


Confessore & Hakim report: “Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo subpoenaed the New York Senate on Wednesday for a broad range of e-mail messages and other records concerning Senator Pedro Espada Jr., the Bronx Democrat who led a monthlong coup that brought state government to a standstill this summer, Mr. Espada said. Mr. Cuomo has been investigating Mr. Espada for months in cooperation with the Bronx district attorney, Robert T. Johnson, over matters including political activity by employees of health clinics he founded and whether he resides in his Bronx Senate district. The latest subpoena focuses on the health clinics, which are part of the Soundview HealthCare Network, and Mr. Espada’s efforts, since winning office two years ago, to obtain Senate earmarks and other state grants.”
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