Could Marco Rubio's rise in the presidential race further delay federal investigation into David Rivera?
Federal prosecutors have circled David Rivera for three years, trying to build a strong enough criminal case to prove the former Miami Republican congressman propped up a ringer candidate in the 2012 election.
They got the ringer, Justin Lamar Sternad, to confess, and sent him to prison. They chased the woman who secretly funneled more than $81,000 to Sternad — Ana Alliegro, Rivera’s ex-girlfriend — to her Nicaragua hideout, and sent her to prison, too. They even got Alliegro, once out of prison, to testify to a grand jury that it was Rivera who had plotted the illegal campaign-finance scheme.
That was almost a year ago. To date, the U.S. attorney’s office in Miami has filed no charges against Rivera — or closed the investigation against him.
“The judge had them name David Rivera as ‘Co-Conspirator A,’ and David Rivera has not been charged,” lamented Alliegro’s father, Anselmo Alliegro. “Nothing seems to be moving in that direction.”
As 2015 draws to a close, prosecutors may choose to wait even longer to resolve the case.
They have until 2017 to file charges, under the federal statute of limitations. And if Rivera’s friend and former housemate Marco Rubio continues to rise in the 2016 Republican presidential race, prosecutors may want to steer clear of the politically charged case, to avoid the appearance of meddling with an election.
Photo credit: Hector Gabino, el Nuevo Herald