We already heard allegations that disgraced former Bronxchester Senator Pedro Espada embezzled more than half a million dollars from the Bronx nonprofit health care network he ran for personal use, on items such as a $125,000 Bentley, thousands of sushi dinners, and a lavish birthday party replete with petting zoo and pony rides. But now, prosecutors are trying to determine whether Espada also used part of that money to pay a ghostwriter to help write his memoir...in which he'd deny using that money inappropriately.
It could have been a brilliantly fiendish plot: take some of that money which he allegedly embezzled from his Soundview Health Center, and invest it in defending himself before he was charged with anything (he started the book in 2006). Unfortunately for Espada, the ghostwriter, Donald McLaren, has been cooperating with the FBI, turning over some 70 hours of conversations between the two, along with bank statements and other source material. On the bright side, we'll never have to actually read the book, since Espada lost interest in it and never finished it. "I think he wanted to be a hero character in his memoir," said McLaren. Maybe if he gets his pension, he can pay another ghostwriter to finish it for him. Or perhaps Espada really did finish it, unbeknown to McLaren, decided it would be too controversial, and is planning on releasing it one hundred years after his death.