Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Deadbeat Dem Pedro Espada breaks promise to repay $13,500 to Board of Elections

Wednesday, August 25th 2010, 4:00 AM

State Sen. Pedro Espada owes the state Board of Elections $10,310.
State Sen. Pedro Espada owes the state Board of Elections $10,310.

ALBANY - Senate Majority Leader Pedro Espada Jr. is a deadbeat on thousands of dollars in state fines despite repeated promises to pay up, state officials charge.

The Bronx Democrat still owes the state Board of Elections $10,310 for failing to turn over timely financial disclosure forms, board spokesman John Conklin told the Daily News on Tuesday.

Espada had vowed to pay off the full balance of his penalty - $13,553 - when Senate President Malcolm Smith threatened to take formal action against him last year.

He's coughed up a paltry $3,243 since his promise.

"It's a disgrace," said Blair Horner of the New York Public Interest Research Group. "After repeated promises to do otherwise, the majority leader is still in violation of the state election law."

Espada racked up the fines two years ago for failing to register 41periodic campaign spending reports as required by law.

He's since handed over just 20 backdated reports, Conklin said.

Watchdogs say that without the reports there is no way of knowing who contributes to Espada's campaigns - or how he spends the money.

"We knew he was an extortionist, holding the chamber up for ransom, but now he's a deadbeat, too," one exasperated Senate Democratic colleague scoffed, noting the coup effort Espada led last summer.

Neither Espada, who faces a tough three-way primary on Sept. 14, nor his spokesman could be reached for comment.

It's his latest black eye: He's accused by state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo of siphoning $14million from his Bronx-based Soundview health clinics.

And a high-end Manhattan tailor is suing Espada for walking out on a $7,200 tab for six custom suits.

klovett@nydailynews.com

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