Indicted ex-Sen. Espada hit with $80K state fine

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.)

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