- Last Updated: 6:37 AM, May 15, 2012
- Posted: 12:33 AM, May 15, 2012
In the blink of an eyelash, former state Sen. and miserable crook Pedro Espada Jr. was reduced from enjoying $60,000 worth of sushi and lobster feasts to subsisting on Meatloaf Surprise and communal showers.
My advice to Pedro: Don’t pick up the soap.
Yesterday, a Brooklyn federal jury nailed Espada to the wall, finding the formerly powerful state Senate majority leader guilty of four counts of theft, embezzlement and misapplication of federal funds.
In plain English, jurors saw that the greedy gourmand robbed the government-financed clinic that he controlled of some $480,000.
He brought the nonprofit center, Soundview Healthcare Network, to its financial knees — and piggishly denied poor folks in The Bronx sorely needed treatment for everything from AIDS to gout.
Bye bye, Pedro. You’ll be gone a long time. Up to 40 years!
It didn’t seem to dawn on Espada until yesterday that he was going to hell. For a man so accustomed to pampering himself, prison isn’t any better than a dungeon.
Yesterday morning, 11 days into deliberations, a jury delivered the death blows. The word “guilty!’’ rang out, four times.
The realization wiped the grin off Espada’s infuriatingly smug face.
For weeks, Espada treated the proceedings like a monstrous joke, kidding around with reporters while accusing prosecutors of employing witchcraft to get him.
So, minutes after the guilty verdicts were read, I walked up to the jokester in the courthouse cafeteria where he sat with his wife and a pony-tailed tough guy. No food sat in front of him.
Within seconds, three scary goons who looked to be seven feet tall ran over to protect Espada from short me. Pedro turned his back and stared at the ceiling.
“We told you he’s not talking!’’ barked a man, by way of “hello.’’
“Get out of here!’’
Yet another impossibly larger man ran over. as Pedro’s wife, Connie, shrieked, “We have no comment! Go away!’’
Detesting the sight of blood, I backed off. Hey Pedro — I mean you no harm!
But it was you, Pedro, who robbed every honest, taxpaying citizen of the state of New York.
Minutes after the cafeteria fracas, jurors went back to work, considering four additional charges against Espada, and eight against his unspeakable son, Pedro Gautier “G’’ Espada. But the panelists couldn’t agree if the guys conspired in their thievery, and gave up, hopelessly deadlocked.
At least Pedro’s out of action.
The best thing to come with this trial is that perhaps the next man will think twice before mocking our system of justice.
Pedro came to court one day with a rosary wrapped around his neck for the jury to see, which is something, I’m told, Roman Catholics never do.
He read the book “Black Robes, White Justice,’’ suggesting he was the victim of racism. And Friday, his followers came to court clad head-to-toe in red — to protect themselves from bad juju.
It’s all over now, Pedro. Enjoy prison.