CLIFTON PARK—What hiring freeze?
State Senator Pedro Espada Jr. put out this statement in reference to reports yesterday that his son, Pedro G. Espada, has been hired to a $120,000-a-year post in the chamber where his father recently became majority leader. The elder Espada sparked a month-long stalemate when he and another senator defected from the Democratic conference to form a "coalition" with Republicans. Espada later defected back.
Here's a statement from the elder Espada from earlier today:
Let me make it unequivocally clear that this is not the result of a quid pro quo or a contingency to my ending the Senate stalemate. I ended the stalemate because it was the right thing to do for the people of the State and because I achieved my goal of enacting reform in the Senate that has not been witnessed in 40 years.
Let me reiterate: This is not the result of a quid pro quo or a contingency to my ending the Senate stalemate. If my son did not qualify for this position, he would not have gotten the job. He interviewed with Senate personnel and was hired by the Senate – not by me – on his own merits, qualifications, experience and background as a former public servant and successful entrepreneur.
He has been expressing a desire to return to government service in some capacity and saw this opportunity. I encouraged him to pursue it. That was the extent of my involvement. This wouldn't even be a story if it were someone else hired to the position. End of story.