Who Espada really stands for
Wasn’t that convenient timing.
The doors closed on Pedro Espada Jr.’s flagship health clinic just after his legal defense gave its closing argument that the former state senator had not meant to embezzle its funds.
And so the same man who once made a habit of handing out groceries before elections set out to hide in a mass of poor people seeking health care while the jury began deliberations in his criminal trial.
What a guy!
Mr. Espada, a man of grand posture who holds his head high no matter how low the deed he’s been accused of, did not need to skip a beat to bask in the glow of cameras on the courthouse steps last week when he denounced the state’s role in shuttering the Soundview Healthcare Network.
He had already been holding press conferences daily, dressed in neatly pressed suits of the sort he was recently sued for stealing from his tailor, as jury members were ushered by.
“The criminal activity is when people, like the governor and his commissioner of the department of health and others in the HMO industry, get together and say ‘don’t pay Soundview,’” Mr. Espada beamed on May 2.
But long before the closure, the politician whose cynicism knows no bounds sought to deflect blame for Soundview’s coming “cash flow” troubles.
A video on the Soundview website demands that Mr. Cuomo, adorned in a superimposed crown, stop abusing power by trying to defund the Soundview clinic.
But while Mr. Espada shut the clinic’s doors, no such defunding has happened.
What has happened, according to the state’s health department, is that Soundview — which had $642,489 in revenue less expenses in 2008 — only received $500,000 in state worker recruitment funding when it had expected $800,000. It resubmitted its application in mid-April and knew then that the funding would be delayed.
It continues to receive Medicaid funding while a case over whether Soundview is meeting compliance requirements remains in court.
So then why close the doors to Soundview now?
Especially when Soundview claims all workers have reported for duty and the center is stocked with supplies?