By CHARMAINE NERO
A federal jury in Brooklyn was in its second week of deliberation Tuesday in the embezzlement trial of former Sen. Pedro Espada, Jr. and his son.
Espada, a Bronx Democrat, is charged with embezzling thousands of dollars from the non-profit Soundview Healthcare Center for his personal use.
At 10:20 a.m., the jury sent a note saying it was reviewing transcripts from the April 3 testimony of Edwin Miranda, Espada’s cousin and janitor at Soundview Healthcare Center in the Bronx. During that testimony, Miranda acknowledged that he was often sent to clean the two smaller clinics on his own although the Espadas informed prospective companies that they would have to pay more for two janitors for each individual building.
This testimony spawned the alleged “trash for cash” scheme in which the Espadas charged prospective companies maintenance fees that were higher than actually required.
During the deliberations, prosecutors could be seen pacing back and forth awaiting word. The defense, including Espada’s lawyer, Susan Necheles, sat in the courtroom spectator section, at one point conversing and laughing with several members of Espada’s relatives, who joked and appeared to be optimistic.