Congressman Joe Garcia’s Communications Director Resigns Amid Fraud Investigation

Giancarlo Sopo, Congressman Joe Garcia’s communications director, has resigned.

Tuesday, Jul 2, 2013  |  Updated 10:17 AM EDT
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Rep. Joe Garcia Expresses Outrage, Disappointment at Chief of Staff Ballot Fraud Probe

NBC 6 South Florida

Congressman Joe Garcia

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Miami-Dade State Attorney Talks About Garcia Staffers Investigation

Congressman Joe Garcia's former chief of staff is accused of illegally requesting dozens of absentee ballots. Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle spoke about the investigation.

Rep. Joe Garcia Expresses Outrage, Disappointment at Chief of Staff Ballot Fraud Probe

Since Representative Joe Garcia's chief of staff resigned on Friday after admitting to taking part in an absentee ballot fraud scheme, the congressman has expressed outrage and called the fiasco an opportunity to fix the flawed absentee ballot process. NBC 6's Betty Yu reports.
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The communications director for Congressman Joe Garcia has resigned amid an ongoing criminal investigation into fraudulent absentee-ballot requests, The Miami Herald reported.

Giancarlo Sopo had been placed on unpaid administrative leave since last month, but his attorney, Gus Lage, told the newspaper Monday that he was resigning “for personal and financial reasons, and also because he didn’t want to be a further distraction to the congressman’s work.”

Congressman Garcia, who did not immediately fire Sopo after learning about the criminal investigation, said he thanked him for his work.

“I understand that he is cooperating with investigators and hope that this will give him an opportunity to resolve this matter,” Garcia told the newspaper.

On May 31, Miami-Dade prosecutors and police raided Sopo’s cousin’s home and the home of John Estes, Joe Garcia’s 2012 campaign manager, the report said. Authorities were in search of computers and other electronic equipment, the report said.

Hours later, Garcia’s chief of staff and top political adviser Jeffrey Garcia, no relation, resigned and admitted to taking part in an absentee ballot fraud scheme.

Congressman Garcia said he will work with prosecutors and has hired an attorney to conduct an internal investigation, the report said.
 

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