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Espada says Cuomo has subpoenaed his records

ALBANY - Attorney General Andrew Cuomo has subpoenaed phone and e-mail records and other documents in his investigation of State Senate Majority Leader Pedro Espada Jr., Espada said Thursday.

Espada said he will fully cooperate with Wednesday's subpoena seeking records held by him, his Bronx health clinic and the Democrat-led Senate. Cuomo has been probing state grants provided to the Soundview Health Care Network, a Bronx clinic for the poor founded by Espada.

The Democratic senator said he suspects some political motivation behind the latest subpoena in a probe that's been under way for more than six months. The subpoena was issued an hour before Gov. David A. Paterson's State of the State address Wednesday, when he railed against corruption in Albany and called for reforms.

Cuomo is widely believed to be planning a run for governor.

Cuomo's office declined to comment.

"It concerns me that anyone would want to play politics with this issue that is serious," Espada said yesterday. "I take ethics measures seriously."

Espada shot back at Cuomo for accepting campaign contributions from the lawyers of people and corporations he has investigated in his probes of Wall Street. Cuomo has voluntarily refused to accept donations from targets but accepts cash from their hired lawyers, which is legal.

Cuomo's office and the Senate deny leaking news of the subpoena.

Espada said he will provide any documents asked of him in the probe and denied any wrongdoing in running the clinic and in his job as a lawmaker who can help direct state grants. He has helped secure more than $1 million in grants for the clinic and other community service groups with which he has been involved.

- AP

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