A Democratic donor filed a new lawsuit Friday against Republican congressional candidate David Rivera and the Florida Commission on Ethics in an effort to force Rivera to reveal more information about his finances. In the suit, attorney William Barzee -- a donor to Joe Garcia, Rivera's opponent in the race for Congressional District 25 -- is asking a judge to order the Ethics Commission to make Rivera clarify the financial disclosure forms Rivera filed as a state representative. Barzee, who had previously made a complaint about Rivera to the Ethics Commission, wants the inquiry completed before election day on Tuesday.
From 2003 to 2009, Rivera said in his disclosure forms that he worked as a consultant for the U.S. Agency for International Development. But USAID told The Miami Herald that it had no record of Rivera or his consulting company. Rivera then amended his disclosure forms, omitting any reference to USAID or other consulting work over seven years. His current financial forms list only Rivera's $30,000 salary as a state representative.
Rivera's attorney, Stephen Cody, said the suit "has no legal merit," and said any decision to investigate Rivera's finances falls only within the discretion of the Ethics Commission -- not the court.
Barzee's suit will be heard by Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Jerald Bagley, who last week threw out another lawsuit by Barzee seeking to have Rivera disqualified as a candidate over the disclosure forms.