January 5th, 2011
David Rivera, sworn in on Jan 5. as the new member of Congress representing Florida’s 25th district, admitted yesterday that he took $137,000 in loans from a company that is co-owned by his mother and godmother, which is currently under investigation by the Miami-Dade Attorney’s Office.
Rep.-elect David Rivera is heading to Congress with controversy following him over unreported loans in potential violation of federal and state election laws.
The new information was included on a disclosure form that he filed on Monday with the U.S. House of Representatives, just before heading to Washington D.C. to begin his first term in Congress.
The Miami-Herald reported in mid-December Rivera’s involvement in a marketing campaign to help the Flagler Dog Track and other pari-mutuel venues in Miami-Dade County win voter approval for slot machines. Rivera allegedly convinced Flagler to enter into a contract with Millennium Marketing, a company then-owned by his godmother Ileana Medina, and formed just weeks before the contract was executed in October 2006.
Although the contract was executed by both Rivera and Medina, and Rivera’s substantial duties were spelled out in the contract, Rivera said he never received any of the $510,000 ultimately paid to the company.
Financial disclosure forms filed with Florida election officials only showed his $30,000 salary he received as a part-time member of the State’s House of Representatives. In the same disclosure forms, Rivera also reported that he worked as a consultant for the U.S. Agency for International Development, but amended the document after the agency confirmed Rivera never worked there.
Tuesday’s story in the Miami-Herald says that Rivera has now admitted to receiving four loans from Millennium between 2007 and 2010, although he claims that they have all been fully repaid. Even though all federal candidates must report all loans in excess of $10,000, except those secured by a home, car or furniture and appliances, Rivera failed to do so, saying the loans were secured by unspecified “personal assets.”
While serving as a state representative, Rivera was also required to disclose all debts in excess of $1,000, except those for taxes or contingent liabilities, such as a potential lawsuit. Rivera is now claiming the $137,000 loan was a contingent liability, subject to whether he took a job at Millennium after his stint with the state legislature, or ran again for office.
Rivera would not provide a copy of the disclosure for to the Miami-Herald, but said he provided a copy to the AP for review.
JG: If you speak Spanish, listen to the Jan 5 program by Edmundo Garcia and Francisco Aruca in La Tarde se Mueve in Radio Progreso.