Dems: Espada Is Violating His Restraining Order

ALBANY—After State Senator Pedro Espada Jr. joined Republicans for a brief meeting in the Senate chamber this afternoon, Democrats are calling on a judge to declare him in contempt of court for violating a temporary restraining order.

The order, signed Thursday by Justice Karen Peters, enjoins Espada Jr. from "exercising any of the powers accorded to the Temporary President of the New York State Senate by Article 4, section 6, of the New York State Constitution."

One of those powers, Democratic spokesman Austin Shafran pointed out, is that the lieutenant governor "shall be" the president of the Senate, and "if the lieutenant-governor shall be impeached, absent form the state or otherwise unable to discharge the duties of the office, the temporary president of the senate shall perform all duties of lieutenant governor during such vacancy or inability."

Republicans have said Peters' restraining order only applies to gubernatorial succession. Dems: Espada Is Violating His Restraining Order