A former campaign manager for onetime Democratic Congressman Joe Garcia plans to plead guilty Thursday in Miami federal court to financing a tea party candidate in a scheme to siphon votes from his Republican nemesis.
In April, Jeffrey Garcia was charged with a misdemeanor of conspiring to give a campaign contribution of less than $25,000 to the shadow candidate in the 2010 Miami congressional race.
Prosecutors said Garcia, no relation to the former congressman, surreptitiously put up the $10,440 qualifying fee for Jose Rolando “Roly” Arrojo to pose as a GOP challenger to David Rivera in the general election. Arrojo was also charged with the same misdemeanor.
Both initially pleaded not guilty but now plan to change their pleas to guilty before U.S. District Judge Jose Martinez, according to a court filing. The misdemeanor offense carries up to one year in prison but with their expected pleas, Garcia, 42, and Arrojo, 41, could receive less punishment, including probation, at a later hearing.