* Ex-Sen. Pedro Espada and his son Pedro G. Espada were arraigned in Brooklyn Federal Court last night on charges they stole money from their Soundview health clinic to pay for their lavish lifestyle. Federal prosecutors added two additional charges of creating false documents to an earlier indictment. Both Espadas pleaded not guilty to the charges. The elder Espada said afterward he felt good about his case, and was confident he and his son would be vindicated. “We have faith in this system,” said Espada, dressed in a light gray suit and a purple tie. “It is a system that I took an oath of office to serve in the state Senate. This is the same system that allowed a kid from Puerto Rico to come to the United States, be homeless and be successful. We look forward to it. We’re absolutely well represented here, but mostly we trust our faith, our family and the system of justice that we’re absolutely ready for.”
* Former Queens Sen. Frank Padavan is mulling a comeback in the northeast Queens district he narrowly lost to Sen. Tony Avella two years ago, sources said, but Queens Republicans are concerned the newly-redrawn district will not be favorable to a bid. Padavan’s name has risen as Republican City Councilman Dan Halloran has downplayed the idea of challenging Avella. Sources said Republicans are unlikely to do much through redistricting to make the district more conservative, and are largely focused on convincing another Republican councilman, Eric Ulrich, to run against Democratic Sen. Joe Addabbo in eastern Queens.
* Occupy Wall Street may or may not be history, but the photographic record of the two-month encampment is already being presented as art. “Occupy Wall Street: A Photographic Document” is on display at the South Street Seaport Museum, which re-opens today. At last night’s preview, nattily dressed New Yorkers sipped merlot and nibbled organic rye with salmon while taking in scenes of rebellious fervor and violent clashes with police. “It’s interesting and in some ways very bizarre to see the events of the fall so quickly transformed into an art gallery event and for the enjoyment of people passively, particularly an art gallery that is very heavily financed by the system that we are trying to go up against,” said Ian Williams, an Occupy Wall Street protester. “But I also think that that’s an opportunity for organizing and having a kind of dialogue we didn’t have in the street.” Freelance photographer Alex Fradkin said it was important to display a transformative moment in American history. “I think the difference here is this is a museum and not necessarily a sales gallery,” said Fradkin, who submitted a photo montage. “If you were seeing a $3,000 price tag next to it, that might be a different issue.”
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