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U.S. Rep. David Rivera won't face criminal charges in state probe over finances, sources say

U.S. Rep. David Rivera will not face criminal charges following an 18-month investigation of his personal and campaign finances by the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, according to sources close to the probe.

Though records released late Monday show FDLE last year suspected Rivera of “possible criminal and ethical violations” ranging from campaign fraud to falsifying financial disclosure forms, prosecutors have concluded that they cannot charge the Miami congressman with any crimes because of ambiguities in the state’s campaign finance laws and a shortened statute of limitations that barred prosecution for expenses more than two years old.

Prosecutors also concluded that Rivera did not break any laws by raising hundreds of thousands of dollars in secret donations to campaign for obscure posts within the state Republican Party. The state attorney’s office is expected to issue a memo formally closing the investigation in coming days.

Ed Griffith, a spokesman for Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernández Rundle, declined to comment on the status of the case. FDLE spokeswoman Gretl Plessinger confirmed that the agency has concluded its investigation.

Rivera’s campaign said in a statement that he “at all times acted in compliance with both the letter and spirit of Florida and federal campaign finance laws and has timely and properly reported all personal income.

“All funds raised and spent in relation to Congressman Rivera’s campaigns for State House, Republican State Executive Committee, or U.S. Congress, were done with the strictest adherence to all applicable legal standards,” the statement says. “Any suggestion to the contrary is completely false.”

The end of the investigation would lift a cloud that has hung over the first-term congressman since he was elected to the U.S. House in 2010 after serving eight years in the Florida Legislature. Rivera has struggled to raise money for his re-election campaign next November. More here.

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