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The Espadas' Embezzlement Trial Set

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Ex-lawmaker Pedro Espada Jr. is preparing for a federal trial on embezzlement charges this week in New York.

Espada and his son are accused of pilfering state grants directed to the Soundview Health Center to pay for tickets for Broadway shows, a down payment on a Bentley and a birthday party pony, among other things. Prosecutors say the spending of more than $500,000 also included tickets for sporting events and concerts, posh restaurant tabs and a petting zoo.

Espada has described the indictment by the U.S. attorney's office and then-state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo as a political "witch hunt." The charges ultimately cost him his state Senate seat.

Meanwhile, the beleaguered Bronx health care clinics he founded are fighting to stay open to serve some of New York's poorest neighborhoods.

 

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Geoffrey Gloak

may be one of the few people you meet who is always glad to talk taxes. He has spent 17 years immersed in government communications – almost entirely in the tax field. He currently serves as the Director of Public Relations at the New York State Tax Department. In each of Geoff’s positions, he has created opportunities to transform the communications environment for the benefit of the organization. Under his leadership, Tax Department public relations have shifted from a reactive focus to proactive outreach. Most recently, Geoff led the STAR Registration media campaign to assist 2 million homeowners with property tax relief while eliminating fraud. As a result of extensive press outreach, more than 300 articles were printed in daily papers alone, and broadcast media repeatedly covered the story in each corner of the state. Less than 5 months after launch, 2.3 million homeowners had registered for their property tax exemptions. Geoff (@gloak23) lives in Kinderhook with his journalist wife, Kristi Berner (@kristiberner), and 4-year-old daughter, Gemma, who is now proud to be able to write her name.