Espada Finally Complies With Election Law, Possibly

ALBANY—State Senator Pedro Espada Jr. has filed eight required campaign-finance disclosure reports, in the wake of increasing public pressure and the broadening interest of Albany County District Attorney David Soares.

But the required reports–which stretch from after the primary election and through the general election–say that Espada's campaign had "no activity." It could not immediately be verified if, in fact, Espada's campaign operations had no activity through an election cycle.

Daniel Pagano, an attorney who represents Espada in his election doings, said the delay in filing was caused by a discrepancy about the proper category under which the reports were filed. Espada created an official campaign committee, but it was improperly designated as a political action committee. Eventually, a candidate committee was created after pressure from then-Senate majority leader Malcolm Smith. No information was filed under the new committee.

Pagano said that future filings will go through the candidate committee, called Independent New Yorkers for Espada, from this point forward. He said Espada sent a check for $3,242 to cover the portion of the fines levied against him for which, Pagano maintains, he is personally liable.

The outstanding balance is "for other committees and other treasurers to deal with. But we're working on it."

Pagano denied the timing of the letter sent to Soares had anything to do with Espada's filings. The letter is dated June 17, and included a list of names of non-compliant candidates. While the list was not made public, an elections board spokesman said it contained the names of all candidates who were non-compliant in 2008–this would certainly include Espada. The letter asks Soares to "consider prosecuting" the offenders under election law.

While Pagano noted the reports were filed on June 19, he said he was trying to file them from June 15 on.

"The Board of Elections people there ran over and did this to try and beat me to filing," he said of the letter. "I couldn't be threatened by a list or anything that I didn't know about."