Bronx state Senator Pedro Espada pleaded not guilty today at a federal court house in Brooklyn to charges that he used a health clinic he operates as a personal piggy bank for himself and his family.
Espada, who was indicted yesterday for embezzeling $500,000 from the Soundview Health Clinics that he operates, spoke with reporters after the arraignment.
“I have mighty faith in the justice system and the people who decide these matters and I look forward to complete vindication of these charges,” he said.
Attorney general Andrew Cuomo, who led the investigation along with the FBI and the U.S. Attorney from the Eastern District, has called the case “the most outrageous abuse of public office I have seen.”
Espada and his son, Pedro G. Espada, who is named as a co-conspirator, posted $750,000 and were forced to surrender their passports, although Senator Espada said that he was unable to locate his. The duo are due back in court on January 7.