While State Senator Pedro Espada Jr. and Republican senators are researching whether Espada really can seize two votes as Senate president pro tempore, let's look at what else is going on with Espada, shall we? First up: The Bronx DA's office has convened a grand jury to investigate him!
Yesterday, the Daily News reported Bronx DA Robert Johnson is looking at Espada's previous terms in the Senate as well as his current one in a criminal probe: "Johnson now wants all of Espada's travel vouchers, member item information and residency documents, including payroll records." He also wants "video from a campaign event last year when Rafael Martinez-Alequin claimed he was roughed up by Espada supporters," (video after the jump) and other videos that Martinez-Alequin, a blogger who covers City Hall, has made.
Espada's housekeeper was also questioned by the DA, prompting Espada to issue a statement, "Could it be that Mr. Johnson is doing the political dirty work of the Democratic Party all over again, this time for Malcolm Smith and others in the Senate who couldn’t win in an Albany court?" Still, the probe began before the Albany coup.
On to Espada's residency issues: WCBS 2, which previously found that Espada is rarely at his "Bronx residence," "acquired documentation filed on June 24, 2009, by Espada and his wife Connie to post bail for their nephew, Carlos Mocete, who was arrested in Bridgeport, Conn. Twice, on two separate pages, Espada listed his residence as 115 Beechwood Drive in Mamaroneck, not the Bronx coop where he claims he lives to fulfill state residence requirements that he actually live in the district he's serving." Hmm. Espada's excuse: The Mamaroneck place had more equity to help with the $250,000 in bail money.
Espada continued to slam Democratic "majority leader" Smith: The Post reports he "accused rival Malcolm Smith of giving a member-item grant 'to the school where his out-of-wedlock child attends.'" Smith has admitted he has an out-of-wedlock child; Smith's spokesman told the Post that Espada made a "slanderous claim" that "fits very well with Pedro Espada's history of playing fast and loose with the truth."
Rafael Martinez-Alequin's video
[Via Runnin' Scared]