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Robain's Xmas gift: A Diaz de la Portilla investigation

Miami-Dade School Board member Renier Diaz de la Portilla is under investigation for allegedly skirting bidding rules to pay for a mailer that could help his brother in a political campaign to succeed their other sibling as state senator.

Renier Diaz de la Portilla said the mailer, approved by a School Board lawyer, was legitimate and that the investigation launched by the county's inspector general was ``politically motivated.'' It stemmed from a complaint made by Miguel Diaz de la Portilla's campaign opponent, Julio Robaina.

Robaina, a Republican like the three brothers and currently a state representative, says the mailer was akin to a taxpayer-funded campaign piece because it targeted reliable Republican voters in the senate district.

Total cost: $23,400, though Miami-Dade's school board has halted payments on the contract until the investigation is over. The state attorney's office has now launched a related criminal probe, according to WFOR-CBS4, a Miami Herald news partner, which broke the news of the probe this week.

More here

CBS4 story with video here

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say goodnight gracie!

No getting out of this one. Caught with the proverbial hand in the cookie jar!

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