Espada's Nonprofit Clunkers Raise Eyebrows

The group recently picked up a beaten up Ford Expedition

Monday, Aug 31, 2009  |  Updated 7:50 AM EDT
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Espada's Nonprofit Clunkers Raise Eyebrows

AP

Sen. Pedro Espada, Jr., a Bronx Democrat is facing questions about his nonprofit.

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State Senate Majority Leader Pedro Espada Jr.'s Bronx charity, which is under investigation by the state Attorney General's Office, is reportedly also facing scrutiny over the nonprofit group's gas guzzling vehicles.

The Comprehensive Community Development Corp., which runs five Soundview Health Center clinics for the needy, has bought a series of upscale gas-guzzlers, including a Cadillac Deville, a GMC Envoy SUV and luxury Chrysler 300C -- periodically replacing them with newer vehicles, the New York Post reported today.

The group recently picked up a beaten up Ford Expedition that it bought from Espada's son, the report said.

Sen. Espada (D-Bronx) uses a luxury car paid for with his charity's money and allows the use of other cars by top employees, including his daughter-in-law and a woman convicted of committing fraud for one of his campaign, the newspaper said.

 The cars raised the eyebrows of charity watchdogs, the Post said.

"An employee and their relatives should not use a charity's resources for personal gain or to offset personal expenses," said Laurie Styron, an analyst at the Chicago-based American Institute of Philanthropy.

Espada's group denies any abuses.

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