During a recent interview on Univision’s Al Punto, Florida Congressman David Rivera, R-Miami, denies having any knowledge of the state or federal investigations focused on his personal and campaign finances. In the interview, Rivera says he “[doesn’t] know anything about” an investigation, which he calls “propaganda from the Democrat party.”
In 2010, the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement launched a probe of Rivera’s finances, shortly before he was elected to Congress. That investigation centered on Rivera’s claims that his main source of income, outside of his work for the legislature, came from consulting for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). The USAID, however, has said it has no record of ever hiring Rivera. When asked by The Miami Herald about his work with USAID, Rivera gave conflicting explanations, “first saying he won the USAID contracts through competitive bidding, but later saying he worked only as a subcontractor to other USAID contractors — whom Rivera would not identify.”
Rivera has since changed his financial disclosure forms, erasing any mention of USAID.
According to campaign watchdog group CREW, Rivera’s financial documents are still problematic. “Rep. Rivera asserted that all his finances are public,” reads a CREW blog entry. “It is true Rep. Rivera filed publicly available personal financial disclosure forms, but that is not the issue. The problem is, his forms were riddled with inaccuracies and inconsistencies.”
In July 2011, The Herald reported that the FBI and Internal Revenue Service had launched a second criminal probe into Rivera, examining a $1 million consulting contract between Flagler Dog Track — now known as Magic City Casino — and Millennium Marketing, a company co-owned by Rivera’s 70-year-old mother.
Despite the alleged investigations, Rivera maintains that he has no knowledge of the investigations, telling Al Puno host Jorge Ramos, “I don’t have any information about any investigation.” During the interview, Rivera also denied that his mother, Daisy Magarino, had created Millennium Marketing.
Public corporation records(.pdf), however, list Magarino as Vice President Millennium.
Watch a portion of the Al Punto interview below: