Rep. Garcia’s (D) Chief of Staff Implicated in Fraud Investigation

Breaking news as reported in the Miami Herald:

U.S. Rep. Joe Garcia’s staff chief implicated in ballot scheme

The chief of staff resigned after law enforcement raided the homes of two of the congressman’s top aides.

Congressman Joe Garcia’s chief of staff abruptly resigned Friday after being implicated in a sophisticated scheme to manipulate last year’s primary elections by submitting hundreds of fraudulent absentee-ballot requests.

Friday afternoon, Garcia said he had asked Jeffrey Garcia, no relation, for his resignation after the chief of staff — also the congressman’s top political strategist — took responsibility for the plot. Joe Garcia took the action hours after law enforcement investigators raided the homes of another of his employees and a former campaign aide in connection with an ongoing investigation.

I’m shocked and disappointed about this,” Garcia, who said he was unaware of the plot, told The Miami Herald. “This is something that hit me from left field. Until today, I had no earthly idea this was going on.”

Jeffrey Garcia declined to comment. He also worked last year on the campaign of Democrat Patrick Murphy, who unseated tea-party Republican Congressman Allen West. Murphy has not been implicated in the phantom-requests operation.

The Miami-Dade state attorney’s office served search warrants Friday at the homes of Giancarlo Sopo, 30, Joe Garcia’s communications director, and John Estes, 26, his 2012 campaign manager. Neither Estes nor Sopo responded to requests for comment.

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7 thoughts on “Rep. Garcia’s (D) Chief of Staff Implicated in Fraud Investigation

  1. “I had no earthly idea this was going on.” Is this guy Obama administration material or what? Alas, there are enough people who’d vote for this creature to get him into Congress, where there are many more just as bad or worse. Lord have mercy.

  2. asombra,

    Remember that the Miami-Herald helped get Joe Garcia get elected last year with the constant negative articles regarding David Rivera’s scandals…

  3. Anybody who uses the Herald for political guidance, especially involving a Cuban politician, is either not very bright or not very respectable.

  4. Where is that idiot Marc Caputo Herald reporter? Dropped the ball on this one but had all the scoop on David Rivera. Fair and balanced reporting.

  5. Marista,

    The story credits Caputo at the very end as a contributor. and, for what it’s worth, I know Marc and think he’s a pretty fair guy, and thats something I never say about reporters.

    • Isn’t odd that in November there were multiple Miami herald articles prior to elecctionof David Rivera , and then The Miami herald uncovers this fraudulent request of ballots after the elections by the Garcia staff ? Isn’t possible that all this came to light at the same time? If so was there any mention of these shenanigans at the time?

  6. Indeed marista,

    The Miami-Herald was very instrumental in the election of Joe Garcia into office because they continuously attacked David Rivera at every possible opportunity during the campaign.

    You never read about Joe Garcia’s sympathies and ties to individuals in Cuba that support the Castro brothers though Babalu and other Cuban-American sites mentioned it.

    Let’s see now what they do about the candidate they promoted into office…

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