Federal prosecutors had half a decade to bring criminal charges against former U.S. Rep. David Rivera in an illegal campaign-finance scheme that landed two of his co-conspirators in jail.
They didn’t. And now, they will no longer be able to do so.
Tuesday marked the five-year anniversary of the last recorded act in the conspiracy involving at least $69,000 in secret money Rivera, a Republican who was then a member of Congress, was suspected to have funneled into the campaign of Justin Lamar Sternad, a ringer candidate in the 2012 Democratic primary. As of Wednesday, the statute of limitations to indict Rivera on any of the same charges as his co-conspirators will have expired.
Rivera will have escaped criminal prosecution, though the feds are still going after him in civil court.
He is now a 2018 candidate for the Florida House of Representatives, the chamber where he began his political career in 2002.
“I can’t really fathom how a person that has been named as a co-conspirator is out there, while I had to serve a sentence, and so did Mr. Sternad,” Ana Alliegro, the Republican consultant Rivera used as a go-between to send Sternad money, told the Miami Herald in an interview Tuesday. “What upsets me is that politicians don’t go to jail in this state. I don’t get it. They don’t get reprimanded.”
Photo credit: Roberto Koltun, El Nuevo Herald staff