Congressman's chief of staff resigns over probe

Florida Vote
Posted at 9:11 PM, Jun 01, 2013
and last updated 2013-06-01 17:13:52-04

MIAMI (AP) - A South Florida congressman's chief of staff has resigned after being implicated in a voting fraud scheme.


      Miami Democrat Joe Garcia told The Miami Herald on Friday that he had asked Jeffrey Garcia, no relation, for his resignation after the man took responsibility for the plot. Several hours earlier, law enforcement investigators raided the homes of 30-year-old Giancarlo Sopo, the congressman's communications director, and 26-year-old John Estes, his 2012 campaign manager.


      Authorities were investigating a sophisticated scheme to manipulate last year's primary elections by submitting hundreds of fraudulent absentee-ballot requests. Garcia won the primary and later defeated incumbent Republican David Rivera in the general election.


      That primary resulted in a separate, federal corruption investigation into whether Rivera had ties to the illegally funded primary campaign of one of Garcia's opponents. Rivera has denied any wrongdoing.