Daily News: Pedro Could Walk

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The Daily News‘s Bob Kappstatter thinks Pedro Espada could wriggle out of Attorney General Cuomo’s grasp:

Can State Sen. Pedro Espada avoid being snared inAttorney General Andrew Cuomo‘s Wabbit trap?

Despite all the subpoenas and allegations flying out of Cuomo’s office, some astute observers think Espada might still cop a walk – even if indicted.

First of all, if the past offers any lessons, Cuomo would have to nail Espada directly.

In past prosecutions of Pedro or his underlings, he has walked and they’ve taken the fall for him, rewarded with getting back their jobs.

Barbara Ross, of the Daily News’ crack investigative team, who has followed Pedro’s peccadilloes, doesn’t think using his for-profit janitorial firm to milk off-the-scale service payments from his non-profit health care chain makes for a strong case.

“It may be a shanda [Yiddish for scandal],” she told us, “but it’s not illegal.”

What could be a problem for Pete – and what broughtAl Capone down – is all those unpaid taxes.

“Cuomo could seek criminal charges against Espada for filing false instruments, not reporting enough personal income, not paying employment taxes for employees of his janitorial company, using employees and money from both his nonprofit and janitorial company to run his campaign,” said Ross. “But to seek criminal charges, Cuomo has to be able to prove Pedro knowingly, intentionally did this. That’s tough.”

Lest we forget, the now-departed South Bronx poverty baron Ramon (The Fat Man) Velez ran his Hunts Point Multi-Service Center for decades, and was hammered by subpoenas, but never nailed.

Read more:http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/bronx/2010/01/19/2010-01-19_wascally_wabbit_could_cop_a_walk.html#ixzz0d6VDGesh

Meanwhile, Espada had the chutzpah to like himself to MLK at a memorial yesterday.

From the Bronx News Network:

Espada also spoke about how happy he was to be the first Latino majority leader in the state Senate. And he alluded to Andrew Cuomo’s ongoing investigation into his healthcare network, and some of the bad press (here’s an example) he’s been receiving.

“People forget that Martin Luther King, at age 39 [when he died], was not heralded by the press,” Espada said. “He was not deemed to be a man of the people. We must recall that as we read our daily papers and study the news of the day.”