NY senator pleads not guilty to embezzling charges

A New York state senator who was the Senate's Democratic leader and his son have pleaded not guilty to charges they embezzled more than $500,000 from their New York City health clinic.

Sen. Pedro Espada and his son Pedro Gautier Espada entered the pleas Wednesday in federal court in Brooklyn. Bond was set for each at $750,000.

Federal and state authorities have accused the pair of raiding the clinic's coffers to spending spree that included Broadway shows and a down payment on a Bentley automobile.

The clinic is a federally funded not-for-profit in the Bronx known as Soundview, which the senator founded 30 years ago.

The elder Espada was the Senate majority leader, but was stripped of the title after the indictment was released. He lost his re-election bid in the fall.