06/10/2014 12:38 pm ET Updated Aug 20, 2014

Judge Says David Rivera Knowingly Broke Ethics Laws


Former Rep. David Rivera (R-Fla.) was excoriated Monday by Judge W. David Watkins for what he deemed as "corrupt intent" on the part of Rivera to break ethics laws.

In a 37-page recommendation sent by Watkins to the Florida Commission on Ethics, the judge stated that Rivera violated three state ethics laws each year between 2005 and 2009. The ethics commission charged Rivera with 11 potential violations in 2012, though five of those have since been dropped.

According to the Miami Herald, Rivera has been accused of double billing his campaign and taxpayers for his campaign travel expenses, neglecting to file complete financial disclosure forms, destroying evidence, improperly backdating a check and not reporting a secret payment from a casino.

“I’m very pleased that this process has resulted in the majority of allegations being dismissed, and I look forward to the remaining allegations being dismissed soon,” Rivera said Monday.

A prison sentence is not an option for the crimes Rivera's alleged to have committed, but he will have to pay fines if he's found guilty. Some of the allegations against Rivera stem from previous investigations by the Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office as well as the FBI and IRS for improper payments made while Rivera was a Florida state representative.

Rivera announced in May that he would once again run for Congress even though he's also under a separate investigation -- by the FBI -- for supposedly financing a fake candidate in 2012 in the Democratic primary against his then and current rival, now-Rep. Joe Garcia (D-Fla.).

CORRECTION: This post has been updated to reflect Rivera funded a fake candidate in the 2012 election, not 2010.



Public Corruption Scandals And Sentences