Now that he's been found guilty of four counts of theft—for basically stealing taxpayer money to pay for a lavish lifestyle— former State Senator Pedro Espada Jr. is having a rough time of it. See, he claims he can't afford a lawyer to represent him in his next trial... so he wants the public to pay for a lawyer.
You'll recall that federal prosecutors claimed that Espada and his family spent money on sushi and lobster dinners (around $100,000 of them), Yankees tickets ($10,000 worth), and personal charges ($115,000) by diverting money meant for his government-supported health clinic in the Bronx. Yesterday, a public defender told a federal judge that Espada "has been unable to find (a lawyer) who’s quoted him a fee that he can afford."
The judge asked Espada to make a "full financial accounting" at the Office of Pretrial Services, according to the Daily News. Espada said after the hearing, "These things cost a great deal of money, that is known to all. The fact is I’m unemployed."