One who flees is a fugitive, according to Webster's Dictionary.
But Ana Alliegro, who fled to Nicaragua amid a federal-grand jury investigation for her involvement with a criminal congressional campaign linked to boyfriend David Rivera, has her own definitions of things.
"I am not a fugitive," Alliegro tells Miami New Times in an exclusive interview. "I am tired of being depicted as one."
Alliegro has refused to talk to The Herald ever since we unmasked the criminal campaign of one-time congressional candidate Justin Lamar Sternad, her role in it and then reported her own criminal record. Sternad, used as a proxy to trash Rivera's political opponent Joe Garcia, pleaded guilty to campaign-finance and conspiracy violations. He is cooperating with the feds. He said he was "used."
In The New Times piece, Alliegro suggests she didn't do the using.
Alliegro doesn't shed much light on what she did for the campaign or why, as a Republican, she would help run a Democrat's campaign. She doesn't explain why, as a girlfriend of Rivera, she ran the campaign of Sternad, who theoretically would have faced Rivera had he not lost Aug. 14 to Garcia, who went on to beat Rivera in the general election.
The New Times piece provides more insight into Alliegro's personality and relationship with Rivera (it got a hold of some of her emails and confirmed that
Rivera booked a romantic Nicaraguan vacation for the two). Alliegro blames her problems on "liberals" and said she flew to Nicaragua after she was jailed in an unrelated matter.
And Alliegro's no stranger to jail.
As The Herald reported and the New Times notes as well, she was busted for shoplifting and for pulling a gun on her ex-husband after comparing the weapon to her version of a powerful penis. In another sexually charged matter, Alliegro sent racy pictures of herself (two in a nighty and one topless photo of herself in the shower) to a Miami political consultant years ago in the hopes, the consultant tells us, that he'd leak them to blogger and stir up controversy in the hopes of getting clients (yes, we have the pictures).
Alliegro does accuse her ex, Moshe Cosicher, of domestic violence. But Cosicher's daughter told The Miami Herald that Alliegro self-inflicted her injuries -- claiming initially that she was attacked by a raccoon -- and tried to use the wounds and phony domestic-violence claim to blackmail Cosicher into staying married. Prosecutors didn't buy her story and she didn't press charges.
Even Alliegro acknowledges she's "crazy." Now, according to New Times, she's claiming she had a horse-riding head injury that has impaired her memory. What a coincidence. Maybe a raccoon knocked her off the horse.
As for the latest crime that involves her, Alliegro says she's innocent. She said she didn't ferry illegal campaign money to and from Sternad, who has told prosecutors that she did.
Sternad's not the only one. John Borrero, who runs the mail house that Sternad used to send out his campaign fliers, told The Herald and then the FBI that Alliegro delivered stacks of cash and checks for his services.
"Borrero is lying," she tells New Times. "I'm crazy, but I am not stupid."
Alliegro also told New Times she didn't have a central role running Sternad's campaign.
"Let's be clear: I was never Justin's campaign manager," Alliegro said. "He never paid me a dime."
Sternad told us in August that she was his campaign manager. She didn't return our calls on the matter, so when I reached out to her on Twitter, she ducked the question Aug. 14, the day of the District 26 Democratic primary that saw the end of Sternad's campaign.
"ARE YOU SERIOUS? YOU CALLED MY VERY PUBLIC TELEPHONE NUMBER? YOU DID NOT AND YOU CALL REACHING OUT VIA TWITTERS," she said. "LOL."
Nothing says reasonable discourse like ALL CAPS evasions.
"I called the number I was given, called your ex and tried this. And you still haven't answered," I responded.
"how about you do your job. Caputo-I am tired and going to sleep. Again, highly unprofessional and wreckless," she wrote back.
And on it went.
In the New Times piece, Alliegro said she's willing to testify and will be back in Miami to renew her passport. She said she's not hiding. "She admits she wanted to lay low," New Times reports.
"I haven't abandoned my country," she said. "I feel my country has abandoned me. But if I have to testify I will. Make no mistake about it, I will not take the Fifth. I will answer what ever questions they ask me."
If that happens, she'll have to give honest answers as well.