Next! Espada Punts Another High-Ranking Staffer - NBC New York

Next! Espada Punts Another High-Ranking Staffer

Senate majority leader sends deputy chief of staff packing



    Inspiring Stories of Hope
    Pedro Espada's hiring record is a wee spotty.

    Pedro Espada Jr.'s tenure as Senate Majority Leader hasn't been all rainbows and unicorns, and the Bronx Dem is now bidding adieu to a second appointee in less than a month. At least this one isn't family.

    Onix Sosa, whom Espada had tabbed to be his deputy chief of staff, was canned yesterday after it was brought to his attention that Sosa is considered a notorious slumlord with thousands of outstanding violations at buildings he has managed.

    "I was shocked and, quite frankly, blindsided by this revelation," Espada said in a statement. "Mr. Sosa came to us via several recommendations. Before I met with him, he was interviewed by members of my staff who found him competent, experienced in constituent work and knowledgeable of the district and its issues."

    While Espada and his people found Sosa to be "competent," The New York Times found him to be the one-time supervisor of 35 buildings with more than 7,000 unresolved violations, more than 1,000 of which were considered immediately hazardous.

    Espada had to be convinced that hiring his own son, Pedro G. Espada, as chief of staff would look bad. Instead, he found Little Pedro a gig as "deputy director of intergovernmental relations" for the New York State Senate, a post that pays $120,000 annually.

    But Pedro G. had to bow out of that post amid whispers of nepotism and rumors that he is "lazy and not so smart."

    Ironically, the scandal inspired the outraged elder Espada to vow to bring a heightened level of scrutiny to hiring practices in Albany.

    "I'm not going to be a vigilante, but I'm going to be vigilant," Espada told the Daily News. "I'm going to know why people are hired and what their jobs are."

    Nice work, Pedro. Keep it up.