Rep. David Rivera won’t face criminal charges in state probe
By JORDAN FABIAN
Florida Rep. David Rivera (R) appears to have dodged a major bullet.
The Miami Herald reports that the freshman Miami lawmaker won’t face criminal charges in a state investigation into his campaign and personal finances:
U.S. Rep. David Rivera will not face criminal charges following an 18-month investigation of his personal and campaign finances by the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, according to sources close to the probe.
Though records released late Monday show FDLE last year suspected Rivera of “possible criminal and ethical violations,” ranging from campaign fraud to falsifying financial disclosure forms, prosecutors have concluded that they cannot charge the Miami congressman with any crimes because of ambiguities in the state’s campaign finance laws and a shortened statute of limitations that barred prosecution for expenses more than two years old.
Prosecutors also concluded that Rivera did not break any laws by raising hundreds of thousands of dollars in secret donations to a campaign for an obscure post within the state Republican Party. The state attorney’s office is expected to issue a memo formally closing the investigation in coming days.
Rivera isn’t out of the woods completely. The FBI and IRS are still conducting an investigation of a $510,000 payment he accepted from a company managed by his mother. The state probe was in regards to his campaign fundraising during his time in the state legislature.
The news is welcome for Rivera, whose effectiveness as a member of Congress has been hampered by the cloud over his head. He has also struggled to raise money for his reelection bid this fall.
Rivera has remained defiant during the 18-month probe. He brushed aside concerns about it last month in a Spanish-language interview with Univision’s Jorge Ramos.
The congressman blamed the investigations on “propaganda from the Democrat Party.”
“I don’t know any investigation about any money that has been used in an inappropriate way,” he said. “Everything has been proper, and I don’t have any information about any investigation or any of those topics.”
The state’s decision to wrap up its investigation also comes as a relief for Sen. Marco Rubio (R), a close friend of Rivera who is helping him campaign for reelection. Rubio is considered a potential vice presidential nominee.