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Rep. David Rivera: Late chief of staff was 'family man and committed public servant'

Congressman David Rivera issued a statement Thursday on his chief of staff, Steve Vermillion, who died Thursday night after a four-year battle with leukemia.

"For nearly twenty five years, I have known Steve as a friend, family man and committed public servant," Rivera said. "My service in Congress has been greatly enhanced by Steve's invaluable advice and knowledge regarding all aspects of the legislative process. As a 17 year veteran of Capitol Hill, Steve will be dearly missed by the Capitol family for his warmth and his sense of service to this institution and our nation."

Vermillion was the longtime chief of staff of former Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart. And he had ties to Miami: Vermillion, who spoke fluent Spanish, attended graduate school at the University of Miami and once worked as director of congressional affairs for the Cuban American National Foundation.

On Twitter, Diaz-Balart wrote, "I will always remember him with deep affection and admiration."

Jaime Suchliki, director of UM's Institute for Cuban and Cuban-American Studies, also mourned Vermillion's death.

"Steve was devoted to the defense of human rights, particularly in Castro's Cuba," Suchliki wrote. "He was a jovial, kind, and intelligent human being and a loyal friend."

Read the full statements after the jump.

--PATRICIA MAZZEI AND LESLEY CLARK

Rivera's statement:

It is with great sadness that I received the news today of the passing of my friend and Chief of Staff Steve Vermillion.  For nearly twenty five years, I have known Steve as a friend, family man and committed public servant.  My service in Congress has been greatly enhanced by Steve’s invaluable advice and knowledge regarding all aspects of the legislative process.  As a 17 year veteran of Capitol Hill, Steve will be dearly missed by the Capitol family for his warmth and his sense of service to this institution and our nation.  Steve demonstrated this service with great dignity the past two years as he simultaneously battled health problems while dutifully fulfilling his professional obligations with honor and distinction.  His family can take great pride in the way Steve honored us all with his unwavering strength of character and dedication to the work of the American people. So while we bid farewell to our friend and colleague, we do so always remembering the enduring spirit and sense of service that Steve imparted on every life that he touched. Steve’s life serves as an inspiration to all of us who knew and loved him.

Suchliki's statement:

 

Steve Vermillion just lost his fight with leukemia.  He passed away on November 15.  I came to know Steve as my student at the University of Miami and later as Chief of Staff of Congressman Lincoln Diaz-Balart and recently for Congressman David Rivera.  Steve was devoted to the defense of human rights, particularly in Castro’s Cuba.  He was a jovial, kind, and intelligent human being and a loyal friend.  Our prayers go to his family.  May he rest in peace.

 

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joe blow

has anyone found Ana Alliegro yet? LOL! Is she still hiding at Alex Diaz de la Portilla's love shack?

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