With two of his former staffers under criminal investigation for allegedly submitting phony absentee-ballot requests, Miami Democratic Congressman Joe Garcia released his own internal review on Monday and concluded that no one else on his staff was aware of the ballot scheme.
Both former Chief of Staff Jeffrey Garcia and former Communications Director Giancarlo Sopo declined to participate in the review, which was carried out by attorney Brian Tannebaum, a political contributor to the congressman’s campaigns. The two staffers resigned after the Miami Herald reported prosecutors were looking into a plot last year to sign up hundreds of unsuspecting voters for absentee ballots.
“I could find no evidence that any one else knew of or participated in any illegality regarding absentee ballots,” Tannebaum concluded in his nine-page report released to the Herald.
Jeffrey Garcia, no relation, resigned on May 31 after admitting to the congressman that he orchestrated the ballot-request ploy. No charges have been filed yet by the Miami-Dade state attorney’s office. Joe Garcia has not been implicated.
“The report speaks for itself,” Garcia said in a statement Monday. “The moment I was informed of the situation, I took action. Our current congressional staff had no knowledge of any wrongdoings.”