Witness testimony got under way Thursday in the corruption trial of former Senate Majority Leader Pedro Espada Jr.
First on the stand was an employee of the non-profit Soundview Healthcare Network that both Espada and his son are accused of embezzling more than a half a million dollars from.
Long-time employee, Maria Cruz discussed the clinic's financial troubles, its out of date medical equipment and supply shortage.
She also referred to the network of relatives and friends of the Espada family she says worked and served on the clinic's board.
Espada maintains his innocence and says he is a victim of a political witch hunt.
Authorities say the Espadas spent the money on restaurant meals, Broadway tickets and a birthday party for a grandchild.
The former lawmaker faces up to 10 years in prison for the embezzlement counts and five years for conspiracy charges.