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Monday, August 8, 2011

Bronx News Roundup, Monday, Aug. 8

Happy Monday, Bronxites! Your weather forecast for today calls for sunshine and temps in the high 80s.

Story of the Day: Espada Spent the Most Senate Cash

File photo by Jeanmarie Evelly
Pedro Espada's lavish spending habits have him back in the headlines again (just in case you've forgotten, see here.) State Senate documents released this week show that the infamously indicted former Bronx rep. spent more taxpayer money in his last three months in office than any other Senator did in double that time, doling out $750,000 in expenses and to pay staffers.

Espada managed to rack up the high tab despite the fact that he and his office were conspicuously quiet during the months in question, October to December, which was after he lost the primary to now-Senator Gustavo Rivera. During these final months in office, Espada was criticized for missing several important sessions in Albany, including a vote on housing legislation that he was the main sponsor for.

We wrote about Espada's bloated office staff roster last fall, after we noticed the number of employees on his payroll had practically doubled in the months leading up to the primary. His staff at the time insisted, however, that any campaign work they did for Espada was off the Senate clock.

In other Espada news: the Soundview Healthcare Network which he founded (and was indicted for looting) will lose $10 million in Medicaid funding because of repeated violations of state law, according to the NY Post.

Quick Hits: 
A New Jersey-based advocacy group set up shop outside Nativity of Our Blessed Lady parish in Eastchester, where they say they are urging sexual assault victims to come forward and share their stories. The church's priest, Father James Duenas, was arrested last week on molestation charges.

More ink on the Bronx-based indie flick "Gun Hill Road." (Read some of our coverage here and here.)

A 64-year-old woman died from smoke inhalation after a fire broke out in the Parkside Houses last night.

The site of the former Stella D'oro cookie factory in Riverdale is poised to become a shopping center with a BJ's Wholesale Club. A deal is being finalized to sell the property to Metropolitan Realty Associates and Angelo, Gordon and Co. (the latter group's other ventures include Manhattan's Chelsea Market).

A Bronx man, 31, drowned in a lake in upstate New York last night.

The Bronx River Alliance, which has helped turn around the once-polluted Bronx waterway, celebrates its 10 year anniversary this fall.

The annual Runyon fundraiser, a 5K race to raise money for cancer research, took place at Yankee Stadium yesterday.

Richard Cunningham, a former vice chairman of the St. Patrick's Day Parade who was born and raised in the Bronx, died last week at the age of 78.

Eddie Gomez, a
senior at JFK High School, is taking a shot at a professional boxing career. 

Two Bronx men were found shot to death in an East Harlem housing project Saturday night; both had served time for robbery convictions, DNAinfo reports, and it was unclear whether they had shot each other or were shot by someone else.

Basketball star Kemba Walker returned to his native Bronx this weekend to play in a summer league game in the Dyckman Park league.

An NYPD sergeant with the Bronx's 44th Precinct was arrested on a DWI charge this weekend. Diego Vivar, 34, was pulled over after running a red light in Brooklyn.

Police are looking for the driver of a white car who mowed down a Bronx teenager in Morris Heights yesterday and then took off. The 18-year-old victim is in serious condition at St. Barnabas Hospital.

A man stopped by police while driving his car through Washington Heights tried to flee by diving into the East River and swimming for the shores of the Boogie Down. He was apprehended after the 1,000 foot swim to the other side.


  1. How about a comment from former Espada staffer Haile Rivera? I see from the ledgers Haile received $6300.03 from us taxpayers via Espada's spending spree. I'd like to know what the taxpayers got in return? I do know that Haile helped Espada hand out bags of food at his campaign events. I know Haile created press releases that claimed a 501 c 3 endorsed Espada (of course, illegal). I know that Haile stood on the corner of Reservoir Avenue and 195th Street on Primary Day, with a megaphone, encouraging us to vote for Espada. Of course all of these activities are campaign related and should not be for what he was paid $6300.03 of taxpayer dollars. The interesting thing is that Espada's campaign ledgers show no payments for any staff.

  2. Can they please seize the money illegally paid to Espada's thug... er... campaigners?

    It might not help the State budget that much, but it's the right thing to do!


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