July 6, 2010
Hon. John Sampson
Senate Democratic Conference Leader
Albany, NY 12247
Dear Senator Sampson:
I read over the weekend that the Democratic Party is considering ousting Senate Majority Leader Pedro Espada from the Democratic Party.
Like you, I am someone who is concerned about justice. It is my view that the steady list of concerns enunciated about Senator Espada’s dealings – from his residency, to his health clinic, to his campaign finance filings, all point to a pattern of abuse that deserves to be reviewed by the Senate.
Here, however, with respect to Senator Espada, there are multiple civil allegations. The fact that a proceeding has now been brought by the very highest law enforcement official in the State, Attorney General Cuomo, takes what were rumors and speculation, and brings them to a higher level. While only a prosecutor can tell for sure, it appears likely to me, that there will be criminal charges in the very near future.
As I said when I called for former Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno to step down, merely avoiding indictment is not the standard we must hold each other to as we serve in the Senate. Whether or not Senator Espada has committed a crime in the eyes of the law, there are enough concerns to move forward with our own internal investigation at this time.
An impartial review consisting of a bi-partisan panel of Senators, is appropriate to both allow him an opportunity to clear his name, or if warranted, recommend punitive action, such as expulsion.
Thank you for allowing me to share my feelings with you on this important matter.
JOHN J. BONACIC