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Miami congressman's former aide released from jail

@PatriciaMazzei

Jeffrey Garcia received the best of presents this Christmas: getting out of jail.

The former chief of staff to Congressman Joe Garcia, no relation, was released from Miami-Dade County’s Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center on Dec. 25.

It was the 65th day of his 90-day sentence for unlawfully submitting absentee-ballot requests online. He was granted credits under Florida law that shave days off an inmate’s sentence for every month behind bars and for working in the jail, corrections spokeswoman Janelle Hall said.

Garcia, 41, must still serve three months of house arrest. Then the longtime professional political operative faces 15 more months of probation. During that time, he will be barred from volunteering or working for any campaigns.

In October, Garcia pleaded guilty to directing the congressman’s 2012 campaign to submit more than 1,800 absentee-ballot requests online on behalf of unsuspecting voters. State law requires voters or their immediate family members to ask for the ballots themselves.

“He’s accepted responsibility for what he did, and he’s moving on with his life,” Henry Bell, Garcia’s attorney, said Friday in a telephone interview.

More here.

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