- Last Updated: 2:11 AM, April 25, 2012
- Posted: 1:52 AM, April 25, 2012
He’s quite the bookworm.
Disgraced ex-state Sen. Pedro Espada Jr. yesterday whipped out a tome that says minority suspects get shafted by the system, propping it up in front of jurors at his embezzlement trial in Brooklyn.
“It’s to busy my mind with something valuable,’’ the slick politician said when asked whether he was trying to send a message to the jury members.
The former Bronx power broker — accused with his son of bilking taxpayers out of hundreds of thousands of dollars — glanced intently at “Black Robes, White Justice’’ during prosecutors’ scathing closing arguments.
The controversial book — penned by the infamous late State Supreme Court Justice “Turn ’Em Loose Bruce’’ Wright — argues that the legal system is badly skewed against minority defendants. Espada is Hispanic.
Later, Espada, 57, asked his wife for her Bible — and spent the last half-hour of summations with his glasses on appearing to study it.
Asked by a reporter later what section he was reading, he replied, “Asking the Lord to protect me from my enemies — it’s a psalm.’’
His antics came as federal prosecutor Todd Kaminsky told the jury that Espada and son Pedro, 38, bled dry both the charity Pedro Sr. controlled, Soundview Healthcare Network, and a related cleaning company.
“The defendants used Soundview as their personal ATM — from the coffee they got in the morning to the cars they drove home,’’ Kaminsky said.
The prosecution will continue its closing arguments today.