Records, Including Hiring Documents and Time Sheets, Sought on Senate Employees Who Were Also Affiliated with Senate Majority Leader Pedro Espada’s Comprehensive Community Development Corporation

ALBANY, NY (April 22, 2010) - Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo today served the New York State Senate with a subpoena calling for the production of records related to ten Senate employees who also served on the board or were employed or retained by the Comprehensive Community Development Corporation (“Soundview”), or its affiliated companies.

The subpoena is part of Attorney General Cuomo’s ongoing investigation into abusive practices at the Soundview not-for-profit in the Bronx and specifically seeks records pertaining to application and hiring, time and attendance, as well as travel and expenses for the following Senate personnel (titles based on Senate payroll records): John Feliciano, Former Special Assistant to Senator Pedro Espada; Marzetta Harris, Senator Espada’s Director of Outreach; Monica Harris-Coleman; Richard St. Paul, Counsel to Senator Espada; Jeanette Torres, Senator Espada’s Office Research Manager and Charity Outreach Coordinator; Andrew Yong, NYC Director of Community Relations / Policy Analyst for Minority Community Relations; Jerry Love, Special Assistant to Housing; Daniel Pagano, General Counsel; Ramona Lopez; and Joey Williams, Administrative Assistant to Senator Espada.

“We want to know where these people worked and when. We also want to know why they were hired and under what circumstances,” said Attorney General Cuomo. “It should be no surprise given the nature of these abuses that we would look to determine whether the misconduct reaches into the State Senate. We will follow the facts wherever they lead.”

Today’s subpoena follows a lawsuit filed on April 20 by Attorney General Cuomo against Senate Majority Leader Pedro Espada, Jr. for looting the Bronx based not-for-profit where Espada serves as President and CEO. Nineteen current and former officers and directors of the Comprehensive Community Development Corporation (“Soundview”) are also named in the lawsuit.

The lawsuit alleges Espada diverted Soundview’s charitable assets and used the money for himself, his family, his friends, and his political operation. In the past five years, Espada has siphoned more than $14 million out of Soundview, including an unconditionally guaranteed severance package worth an estimated $9 million that was put into a contract signed in 2005. The Chief Financial Officer and the Soundview Board, which is packed with Espada’s family, friends, and Senate employees, approved the transactions. The lawsuit seeks to permanently remove Espada and current CFO Kenneth Brennan as officers of Soundview and, similarly, to remove all of Soundview’s directors from the Board. The lawsuit also seeks restitution from Senator Espada.

Soundview was founded by Pedro Espada Jr. with the purpose of providing healthcare to the people of the South Bronx. It is a not-for-profit that receives a vast majority of its funding from the state and federal government.

This case is being handled by Assistant Attorney General Nathan Reilly and Special Deputy Chief of Staff Mitra Hormozi.

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