Former Democrat New York state Sen. Pedro Espada Jr. was sentenced to five years in prison Friday, the Albany Democrat-Herald reported.
Espada ran a taxpayer-subsidized health clinic called Soundview, which closed last year after 30 years.
While still in the Senate in 2010, Espada was arrested on federal charges that he stole more than $500,000 to pay for lobster dinners, vacations and pony rides at a granddaughter’s birthday party while letting Soundview’s clinics go into decline.
A jury convicted Espada last year on four counts in the embezzlement case but deadlocked on four others. Espada later pleaded guilty to a separate tax fraud charge after prosecutors agreed not to retry him on the undecided counts.
The judge began Friday’s sentencing by dismissing Espada’s motion for a new trial. The defendant had based the request on a sworn statement he obtained from a juror at his trial, despite the judge’s warning last week to stay away from jurors. The juror had claimed he was “100 percent” certain that the judge had entered the jury room to goad jurors into reaching a partial verdict.