Former U.S. Rep. David Rivera avoided criminal charges in an unlawful campaign-finance scheme he was suspected of masterminding. Now he’s evading the feds again — this time, U.S. marshals trying to serve him with a civil lawsuit.
Since July, marshals have attempted to formally notify Rivera in person, by phone, by overnight mail and via email that the Federal Election Commission sued him, seeking $486,000 in penalties for at least $69,000 in unreported campaign cash Rivera funneled to a ringer candidate in 2012
Each time, Rivera, a 2018 candidate for the Florida House of Representatives, has eluded them.
His unknown whereabouts — and a delay of service attempts due to Hurricane Irma — prompted FEC attorney Greg J. Mueller to ask U.S. District Judge Robert Scola on Thursday for 60 more days to serve Rivera. Scola granted the request Friday, giving the feds until Dec. 11 to serve the lawsuit.
“The Commission’s diligent efforts to serve Rivera have been thwarted so far by Rivera’s apparent evasion of service,” Mueller wrote in his request to Scola. “Rivera is almost certainly aware of this lawsuit.”
Four times, marshals tried to serve Rivera in person. On the first occasion, three days after the FEC sued on July 17, a deputy marshal visited Rivera’s townhouse, inside a Doral gated community.
“The Deputy Marshal then encountered an individual in the driveway at that address who ‘refused to answer questions’ regarding Rivera,” Mueller wrote.
Photo credit: Roberto Koltun, el Nuevo Herald