Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernández Rundle has requested that the Florida Department of Law Enforcement head a corruption probe into the financial dealings of Rep. David Rivera, an embattled South Florida Republican who in November was elected to represent the state’s 25th congressional district despite a host of ethical issues raised during the campaign.
According to The Miami Herald, Fernández Rundle asked a top prosecution team to turn the investigation over to state law enforcement as the probe expands beyond the initial loans-for-slots scheme that Rivera admitted to prior to his swearing in earlier this month:
Investigators found that Flagler [Dog Track] paid $510,000 to Millennium Marketing — a company owned by Rivera’s mother and godmother — as part of a deal for Rivera to manage a pro-slots political campaign on behalf of the parimutuel.
Rivera long denied receiving any income from the dog track, and he made no mention of Flagler or the Millennium deal in his financial disclosure forms. But days before taking office in Congress, Rivera admitted receiving $132,000 in undisclosed loans from Millennium — money Rivera says he repaid after the election.
Investigators are also examining Rivera’s campaign spending, including $30,000 he paid to Millennium for campaign consulting in 2006, and $75,000 he paid last year to a now-defunct consulting company owned by the daughter of a top aide. Rivera has denied any wrongdoing.
In October, The American Independent reported that a Miami-Dade judge allowed Rivera to remain on the ballot despite falsifying disclosure forms since 2003:
He falsified claims on his state financial disclosure forms that he had worked as a contractor for USAID. He had to amend the forms to reflect that he had not, and questions arose over other sources of income beyond his $30,000 salary as a state representative. He also faced allegations that he had run a truck containing his opponent’s flyers off the Palmetto Expressway in a 2002 campaign.