I’m not sure how far and wide the news has really spread, but those of you who live in New York State have surely heard about Pedro Espada, Majority Leader of the New York State Senate and man of questionable ethics. There are claims that he doesn’t live where he says he lives (meaning he’s not eligible to hold his seat). There have been numerous allegations against him about skimming money and misuse of government funds and resources. Last year, he and two other Senators switched allegiances from Democrat to Republican then back to Democrat, putting the State Senate into total chaos and gridlock for an entire month for his own personal gain.
Espada is exactly the type of guy that people complain about when they talk about corruption in government and not being able to trust politicians. And now? He’s been indicted.
So why is this important? First of all, a lot of the money he allegedly stole was intended for health care. As an ethical issue, that’s just indefensible. People are giving money with the intention that they will be cared for if they’re sick or injured, and he used it for his own gain? Certainly the victims of that deserve justice.
But more importantly, it sends a message to other politicians about the abuse of power. Espada got away with his behavior for a long, long time. Too long. This indictment is a clear indication that even the Majority Leader of the New York State Senate has to abide by the laws of this state. No mater how much power he wields, he broke the law and is now being forced to own up to it. If he’s convicted – even sleazy crooks like Espada deserve a fair and impartial trial – it is that much more effective.
To the good people of the 33rd District, here’s hoping you pick someone a little better next time!