Another day, another ethical problem for U.S. Rep. David Rivera, R-Miami. This time, the Associated Press reports that he paid himself nearly $60,000 in unspecified campaign reimbursements over his eight years in the state legislature:
Serving as his own campaign treasurer, the Miami Republican didn’t report any details for more than a third of the roughly $160,000 in expenses for which he reimbursed himself, other than simply calling them campaign expenses, according to the records.
The AP review also shows his total reimbursements far exceeded those claimed by 12 other top Florida state legislators who served with him. Those lawmakers – both Democrats and Republicans – usually gave at least some explanation of how the money had been spent, as required by Florida law. Rivera denies wrongdoing.
At least for Rivera, many of the reimbursements are beyond the statute of limitations:
But even if Rivera or other legislators violated Florida campaign law, by pocketing money or not correctly filling out forms, the penalties are minor – a failure to properly document campaign spending could generate fines of $1,000 per count or possibly a misdemeanor charge. Only the 2010 campaign cycle remains within the statute of limitations, said Florida campaign finance expert Mark Herron.
Rep. Rivera has encountered a slew of ethics problems, both as a state legislator and since winning a first congressional term from his Miami district in 2010.
Luke Johnson reports on Florida for The American Independent.