Federal prosecutors in Brooklyn federal court began to wrap up their embezzlement case against former State Senate Majority Leader Pedro Espada Jr. on Thursday.
Prosecutors said Espada embezzled money to cover his personal expenses by charging the Soundview Health Center, and by cashing out unused sick and vacation time.
According to documents from the health clinic that were introduced in court, Espada did not actually use his vacation and sick time for four years. Instead, he cashed in over 500 days' worth of time.
Clergy members came out to support Espada's claims of innocence.
"We've maintained our faith and we are in a very strong position and we thank you for your interest," said Espada.
Prosecution is expected to wrap up its case Friday.
Espada is accused of stealing over a half-million dollars from the health center.