Espada federal trial begins

Pedro Espada. AP Photo.

Former Senator Pedro Espada and his son Pedro Gautier were expected to face accusations Wednesday, March 14 in Federal Court in Brooklyn of stealing $500,000 from the south Bronx Soundview Health Center.

Espada has publicly called the trial a “witch hunt.” He offered no new statements prior to the trial.

In August, the Soundview clinics, which employ 200 and witness 100,000 patient visits per year, lost their Medicaid participation.

A judge has since ruled Medicaid will fund services at the low-income clinics until mid-April.

Espada is 58 and his son is 38. A separate tax fraud trial related to the Soundview case has not yet received a court date.

Susan Necheles, who is defense counsel, said both father and son deny any wrongdoing and will fight the charges.

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