Pedro Espada goes after judge's phone and garage records
Former state senator Pedro Espada on Tuesday tried to subpoena courthouse phone and garage records to prove the Brooklyn federal judge who oversaw his embezzlement trial last year improperly pressured jurors.
"I didn't grow up in the South Bronx homeless . . . to go out this way," said Espada, 59, who faces sentencing on Friday for looting his nonprofit Soundview health network. "It matters to me what my grandchildren read 20 or 30 years from now is the truth."
Former Senate majority leader Espada faces 70 to 87 months in prison under federal guidelines. In a new trial motion last week, he said jurors told him presiding U.S. District Judge Frederic Block secretly visited them the day they ended a deadlock last May and urged them to agree on a verdict.
Block has denied it, saying he was at home the morning the jury reached its verdict and had to come in to court to receive it. Espada, whose lawyer has refused to participate in the accusations against Block, said in a pro-se filing that garage swipe-card records, court surveillance cameras and phone records would establish when Block arrived.
He also told reporters that his lawyer will be seeking to delay the sentencing, and have Block disqualify himself because the judge's "credibility" has been called into question.