It seems that Pedro Espada’s political career is reaching terminal velocity.
New York State Democratic officials have drafted and hand-delivered a letter to the Bronx Democratic Committee chairman Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz requesting the cancellation of the infamous politicians democratic membership.
The State Democratic Committee charged that Senator Espada became a Democrat for “ulterior motives.”
“Time and again, by word and by deed, Pedro Espada has put his own naked financial interest ahead of bedrock Democratic ideals," Jay Jacobs, the Chair of the New York State Democratic Committee, said in a statement.. "Espada has run rough-shod over campaign finance rules devised by Democrats, has played fast-and-loose with state residency requirements, and -- most egregiously -- appears to be a Democrat purely for personal profit, not a commitment to our core values.”
The letter, which was preceded by a signed comment from New York State Democratic Committee Deputy Director Edgar Santana, initiates a process that could oust the embattled state senator out of the Democratic Party.
State Dems are using New York Election law 16-110, which allows a party to revoke membership.
The Daily News obtained a copy of the letter dated July 6th. The letter points to last summers' state senate debacle in which Sen. Espada bartered his allegiance to the Democratic Party for personal gain.
The letter makes note of press accounts touting Espada as being motivated by a desire to secure about $2 million in discretionary spending for organizations in which he held a personal financial stake and by Republican promises to make him President of the Senate.
But not all Democrats are pushing for Espada’s ousting.
State Senator Ruben Diaz, Sr. released a statement noting, “Our newspapers are filled with stories highlighting ongoing investigations of other Democratic New York elected officials in the U.S. Congress, in the State Senate, in the State Assembly, and in the New York City Council. Yet, I don’t hear about or read about any attempt by the State Democratic Party to oust any of them -- no -- only when it comes to Hispanic names.”
Diaz adds, “I am troubled to learn that despite scandals and investigations surrounding several Democratic leaders in the New York State Senate, an effort is underway to oust Senator Pedro Espada, the only Hispanic under investigation, from the Democratic Party."
The move could set a precedent for the process of going after a lawmaker who has not been convicted or even accused of a crime.
Espada is has only been implicated in the civil suit by Attorney General Cuomo -- a fact that Diaz does not want any New Yorker to forget.
“In this country, people are presumed innocent until proven guilty, not guilty upon accusation, not guilty upon investigation," said Diaz. "If they are later proven guilty, then let the chips fall where they may. But until that time, especially in New York State, there should be no selective prosecution of Hispanics.”
Espada's office didn't return calls or emails for comment.