Move over Richard Perle, there's a new heir to the throne of darkness! During an interview on Good Day New York this morning, embattled State Senate Majority Leader Pedro Espada, Jr. came out swinging at Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, who filed a civil lawsuit against Espada accusing him and 14 others of "looting" at least $14 million from the taxpayer-funded health clinic Soundview. Today Espada angrily dismissed the growing scandal as "a politically-motivated witch hunt from the Prince of Darkness himself." And of course, he didn't stop there:
I earn a dollar working like every citizen in the state of New York. How I spend my money is my business... [Cuomo]'s behind the curtain, nobody knows who he is. I'm bringing him out... I'm going to continue to expose who he is, because he needs to be vetted... We need to vet this man's character. He can't just get in there because his last name is Cuomo.
My familia, my family, he hits, he tarnishes, and he says I shouldn't employ my children, my boys, who are the parents of my grandchildren, when his father gave him his good name...This is a person who is trying to demonize me and the African American and Latino people in the community. Come on out, Andrew Cuomo. Meet me man to man.
Yesterday Cuomo's office served Espada a subpoena for records related to ten State Senate employees who served on the board or were employed by Soundview; Cuomo says he wants to "determine whether the misconduct reaches into the State Senate. We want to know where these people worked and when. We also want to know why they were hired and under what circumstances." On Wednesday morning, FBI and IRS agents raided the Soundview office, seizing boxes of documents.
Asked if he would step down in light of the corruption allegations, Espada said, "Nunca! Never! Never will I step back from majority leader. We've faced politicians and overzealous prosecutors before, and we beat them all back." Meanwhile, New York State is still operating without a budget.