Congressman David Rivera
3:39 pm
Wed October 24, 2012

Rivera Slammed With 11 Ethics Charges

The Florida Ethics Commission has accused Miami Republican Congressman David Rivera of 11 separate violations, including misuse of campaign funds, falsifying disclosure forms and accepting corporate money he should have known was intended to influence his votes.

David Rivera: He insists ethics charged filed Wednesday will be dismissed.
David Rivera: He insists ethics charged filed Wednesday will be dismissed.
Credit candidate web site

All of the misconduct alleged by the commission supposedly occurred while Rivera was a state legislator. He's currently running for re-election to his Congressional seat and fighting unrelated accusations that he funded a Democratic opponent's primary campaign to undermine the candidate he wound up running against anyway, Joe Garcia.

The Miami Herald outlined the Ethics Commission case against Rivera:

Investigators with the Florida Commission on Ethics found that Rivera’s secret deal to work as a political consultant for the Magic City Casino — formerly the Flagler Dog Track — created a conflict of interest for the lawmaker. The ethics panel also found that the Republican broke state ethics laws by failing to fully disclose his finances from 2005 to 2009.

Rivera signed a contract with the Magic City Casino’s owners in 2006, but had the money from the deal sent to Millennium Marketing, a company founded by Rivera’s mother and godmother, records show. Rivera then received at least $132,000 back from Millennium — money that Rivera has called loans that need not be disclosed.

Rivera served in the Florida House from 2002 until 2010. In a statement , he denied the charges and accused the Ethics Commission of political motivations.

“These allegations are false and will be dismissed shortly," he said. "It is unfortunate that the Florida Ethics Commission deliberately chose to play politics by injecting itself into the middle of an election after voting has started."

The Ethics Commission has no power to punish Rivera. 

Once a prohibitive favorite, Rivera is now expected to be defeated in his re-election campaign.