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Ex-pol Espada: Polygraph proves innocence

Former state Senator Pedro Espada makes his way

Former state Senator Pedro Espada makes his way to Brooklyn Federal Court for sentencing. (Oct. 12, 2012) Photo Credit: Steven Sunshine

Ex-state Sen. Pedro Espada Jr., who is awaiting sentencing this month for corruption, says a lie-detector test he commissioned proves he's innocent and he's seeking a new trial.

Espada, a Democrat, says he sat for a four-hour polygraph exam -- "it was my idea" he said -- that exonerated him of evading taxes and embezzling money from his nonprofit.

"On theft and taxes -- yes, the polygraph clears me," Espada told Newsday on Saturday.

Espada is facing at least 70 months in federal prison after his scheduled sentencing on June 14 at U.S. District Court in Brooklyn. He pleaded guilty in October 2012 to tax fraud

He promised not to appeal his conviction earlier that year for stealing $500,000 from the nonprofit health care network he ran in the Bronx to purchase cars, vacations and expensive meals.

Upon pleading guilty, he told the judge he understood the plea deal barred an appeal, saying: "I am clear. I accept that."Espada declined to comment on how his move for a new trial could affect the plea deal. Robert Nardoza, spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office in Brooklyn, declined to comment.

Asked why he'd pleaded guilty if he's innocent, Espada laughed and said, "There are a lot of people in jail who have pled guilty to things."

Espada said he, his lawyers and the polygraph examiner would unveil the test results and new evidence at a news conference Monday. He would say only that the results concern the tax and theft charges as well as the jury deliberations. He said his attorneys would file a motion for a new trial.

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