From the Daily News:
State Senate Majority Leader Pedro Espada Jr. was accused Tuesday of looting his taxpayer-backed health clinic of $14 million, including $80,000 in meals and fancy trips to Puerto Rico, Miami and Las Vegas.
The stunning lawsuit by Attorney General Andrew Cuomo charged Espada, the president and CEO of the Soundview Health Clinic, with using the facility to secure a $9 million severance package while running up $450,000 in credit card bills and $100,000 in campaign expenses.
The lawsuit included a dizzying array of corruption, including allegations that:
- Espada received a severance package worth an estimated $9 million - a deal that would force the non-profit into bankruptcy if the senator collected.
- Soundview paid $80,000 in restaurant bills for Espada and his supporters, including $20,000 from a pair of sushi restaurants near Espada's Westchester County home.
- Soundview paid for Espada and family members to take lavish trips to Las Vegas, Miami and Puerto Rico.
- Soundview provided Espada with an American Express card that he used to ring up $450,000 in personal charges between 2006-09.
- Espada rigged bids to insure that his son collected a $400,000 janitorial services job at Soundview.
- Espada covered the cost of $100,000 in campaign literature by funneling money through Soundview.
And then his office was raided.