Espada found guilty of theft
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By Adam Wisnieski
Mr. Espada contends his primary residence was a co-op in Bedford Park, which he put up for sale after being defeated in a primary by current state Sen. Gustavo Rivera. But during the trial, the government introduced photo evidence of extravagant birthday parties for family members with pony rides and a life-size Barney at his Westchester home.
At times, the trial against Mr. Espada seemed destined for a hung jury. From the first day of deliberations, jurors were not able to agree on any of the charges against Mr. Espada or his son. According to notes from the jury to the judge, the room was hostile and certain jurors accused others of screaming, cursing and bullying others.
According to jurors speaking to the press outside after the trial, three believed Mr. Espada was innocent and the others spent 11 days persuading them he had stolen from Soundview, according to news sources. A few jurors requested to review some of the thousands of pieces of evidence introduced during the two-month trial in order to convince the holdouts.
“One of the jurors right from the start, came to the table and within 15 minutes of our deliberations, without even looking at a document, jumped up and said, ‘He’s innocent; he’s innocent; he’s innocent. I don’t care what you tell me. I will never change my mind,’” said one juror outside the court on Monday, according to news sources.
Mr. Espada has consistently said Gov. Andrew Cuomo and state agencies were retaliating against him for crippling the state legislature because he defected from the Democratic Party, which brought the state legislature to a standstill in 2009.
As attorney general, Mr. Cuomo indicted Mr. Espada in 2010 for stealing more than $14 million from Soundview. The U.S. Attorney’s Office eventually charged Mr. Espada with stealing $550,000.
After the verdict was announced, a victorious Mr. Cuomo released a statement.
“Mr. Espada was the prime example of government corruption,” it reads. Mr. Espada has made many accusations and comments about me since my actions began. Today the jury spoke loud and clear making Mr. Espada a convicted felon.”
KeywordsAdam Wisnieski, Pedro Espada, Soundview Healthcare Network, stealing, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Susan Necheles.