When authorities revealed a month ago that one of his former aides had collected some 164 absentee ballots in his Hialeah office, county Commissioner Esteban Bovo expressed shock at the news.
But on Monday, Bovo admitted that more than a month earlier he’d received a separate complaint that his then-aide Anamary Pedrosa had offered the services of ballot brokers to judicial candidates at a Fourth of July celebration in Hialeah. “I confronted her and Anamary denied being involved in any campaigns,” Bovo told Channel-41 AmericaTeve. “In fact, she said that some judicial candidates had asked for her help, but she said she wasn’t working for anybody for pay or as a volunteer. I believed her.”
However, Miami-Dade County Judge Don S. Cohn told a different story to El Nuevo Herald on Monday night. He said Pedrosa and her mother offered to take him to meet elderly Hispanic voters at an apartment building in Hialeah Gardens. Cohn ended up paying her mother, Ana Valdez, for the work.
“[Pedrosa] was definitely the one who approached me,” said Cohn, who won the race despite losing in absentee ballots. “My expectation was that she was going to take me to those places. I don’t speak Spanish.”
Pedrosa doesn’t show up in any campaign reports for the Aug. 14 elections. But Valdez earned some $5,700 for working in three judicial campaigns.
More from Melissa Sanchez and Enrique Flor here.