BEDFORD PARK - Residents are outraged after Sen. Pedro Espada's car was seen parked illegally with a state police parking placard.

Residents say the Bronx politician's Mercedes was blocking a fire hydrant in front of his Bedford Park co-op on New Year's Day. According to Espada, someone else parked his car there while picking him up for a meeting.

The Homeland Security office says it distributes placards to Assembly and Senate members who want them. While the permit is legal, it doesn't allow anyone to park in front of a hydrant.

In a statement, Espada says he left the car for less than 12 minutes and admitted that if there had been an emergency, it would have been 12 minutes too long.