Bronx Senator Pedro Espada is in the news again today. The City Room blog (NY Times) reported that he came under fire for failing to disclose election-related filings, as he was obligated to do. But here’s the thing that burns me up. I am no longer surprised to see Senator Espada in the news, where he continually finds himself on the defensive after getting caught with his hands in the proverbial cookie jar.
In mid April of this year, it became clear that Espada was trying to deceive the public about where he lives. Between Streetsblog , and CBS reporter Marcia Kramer, we learned that Espada owns a co-op apartment in his Bronx district, but actually lives in Westchester County’s Mamaroneck. Pedro, let me just say that I sympathize. It must be so tiresome to live among the hoi polloi that elected you, and provided you with the platform from which you have continually enriched yourself.
And there’s a history to this. In May, 2005, the NY Times reported that three employees of a Bronx health clinic run by then former Senator Espada cheated the clinic’s impoverished patients out of funds so that they could be used to satisfy Espada’s political ambitions. Now that he is a senator again, his ties to the same Bronx clinic are under investigation, according to the Daily News . Even though it is illegal for a publicly funded entity such as the Soundview Health Clinic to promote a political candidate, the News has found that somehow, Soundview has managed to do just that for Espada. In fact, Soundview used to pay Espada a salary of up to $379,000.
The only good news associated with Espada is that today, the Bronx District Attoney opened an investigation into whether or not he resides in the Bronx, as reported by Marcia Kramer at WCBSTV.com .
Senator Espada is a disgrace who has abused the public’s trust. His actions show that he has no use or respect for the law. This may be common among politicians, but we cannot let ourselves become numb to it. Pedro, as a resident of Mamaroneck, as someone who occasionally works in the Bronx, and as a lawyer, here is some advice. Resign your post, move out of Mamaroneck, and pursue your life’s passion by finding a job in which you can openly lie, cheat and steal. You might enjoy becoming a house burglar, for example. Just stay out of Westchester and the Bronx. We’ve really had enough.