Sometimes, the First Amendment works. New York Magazine, the NY Post, the Daily News, the Times and other publications carried the story, so did we. And hours after we called it a ripoff of the taxpayers on NBC New York, State Senator Pedro Espada Jr.’s son resigned from his newly minted position.
It was something of a record -- for he’d only held the $120.000-a-year government job for a few days before an outcry began. It just shows that Albany can act fast when it wants to. It certainly helped the cause of ousting young Pedro G. Espada when it was revealed that Attorney General Andrew Cuomo was investigating the hiring as a violation of nepotism rules.
It should not be forgotten that Senator Espada is the man who tied up the Senate for weeks after he crossed the aisle to sit with the Republicans. His reward: the Republicans made him the Majority Leader. That means he now leads the Democrats.
If this sounds confusing, that's because it is. Espada and the GOP made a deal and the Democrats went along with it because they wanted to run the Senate. It didn’t matter that the man chosen as their leader was Espada, a traitor to the Democratic Party. This is Albany -- and that’s the way things work, these days.
As for young Pedro G. Espada, his daddy had insisted he was well qualified for the job of "deputy director of intergovernmental affairs" -- although nobody had ever heard of the position before. A couple of days later, the irrepressible Senator Espada said his son was bowing out because he didn’t want to be a "distraction." Perhaps, too, somebody in Espada’s office read that part of the public officers law that says that no member of the Legislature "may participate in any decision to hire...a relative for any compensated position…"
That makes it clear. Pedro G. couldn’t hold the job. And the father explained: "To remove any suggestion that this was a result of influence, rather than earning his ways on to the position, he will withdraw."
So how’s that again? No influence, no nepotism. Just a routine chapter in the annals of Albany.
Yeah, right. Before we were suspicious. But now we are convinced.