ALBANY, N.Y. (WIVB) - Another high level political drama is unfolding in Albany wherethe budget remains undone. The Attorney General is suing SenateMajority Leader Pedro Espada, accusing the lawmaker of looting hisown non-profit group.
Espada said, "Because politically he had to find something."
State Senate Majority Leader Pedro Espada firing back atAttorney General Andrew Cuomo over the lawsuit Cuomo filed againstEspada and Soundview Health Care, a non-profit agency Espadafounded and is currently the CEO. In his lawsuit, Cuomo chargesSoundview funneled close to $14 million to Espada, his family,friends, and political supporters over the last five years.
$80,000 of that went for tabs at restaurants, including $20,000for sushi. Espada charged $450,000 for his personal use on theagency's American Express Card. Soundview also provided Espada witha $25,000 a month housing allowance, which Cuomo says he used foran apartment in the Bronx, his home district, because Espadaactually lives in Westchester County. And if Espada ever leavesSoundview, his contract guarantees him a $9 million severancepackage, which Cuomo contends would bankrupt the agency.
Espada said, "Let me just say, that is one of many lies andfalsehoods that are included in this complaint and it will beanswered directly. We will answer all of these matters incourt."
Espada never did answer any questions directly in his lateafternoon news conference, instead accusing Attorney General Cuomoof retaliation for Espada and fellow Democrat Hiram Monserrateleading the so-called coup of the State Senate last summer.
"All of this amounts to absolutely nothing. No wrong doing on mypart nor on the part of my family," said Espada.
The Attorney General's lawsuit is separate from an FBIinvestigation linking Espada and his Chief Attorney Steve Pigeon toa money-laundering probe. Pigeon is the former Chairman of the ErieCounty Democratic Committee.
A house became engulfed in flames on Route 243, in Rushford, early Wednesday morning.
A man who was wrongly convicted of second degree murder in 2009 has been set free after spending four years in prison.
Investigators have pieced together who is responsible for dumping a dog on the side of the road inside a zipped up Coors Light thermal bag.
The Cattraugus County Sheriff’s Office says a 17-year-old male from East Otto was arrested on Monday evening.
News 4 will get a tour of the new gaming floor at the Seneca Niagara Casino and Hotel on Wednesday. The casino pumped $26 million into the main gaming floor.
The Mounted Patrol from the Erie County Sheriff’s Department is kicking off its annual Mounted for Meals food drive.