ALBANY, N.Y (AP) – New York Legislative Ethics Commission has hit former Sen. Pedro Espada with an $80,000 penalty for hiring his uncle to his staff.
The decision released Friday penalizes Espada for the cost of his uncle's salary plus a $10,000 fine.
Espada is on trial with his son in Manhattan on charges of embezzlement during his Senate career.
The two have pleaded not guilty to charges they looted around a half million dollars from the nonprofit Soundview Healthcare Network in the Bronx, which Espada founded in the 1970s.
Prosecutors say Espada created a scheme using his own cleaning company to overcharge the clinic so he could take money whenever he wanted.
Espada didn't initially return a request for comment.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)