Miami-Dade State Attorney Talks About Garcia Staffers Investigation

On Friday, Jeff Garcia, not related to Joe, resigned at the congressman's request. Joe Garcia is serving his first term in District 26.

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    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. (Published Monday, Jun 3, 2013)

    Congressman Joe Garcia's former chief of staff is accused of illegally requesting dozens of absentee ballots, and that is a felony.

    "He promised that he would work with us in anyway possible," said Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle.

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    Garcia said Congress engages in too much partisan rhetoric instead of solving problems. "And hopefully we can turn the page in this election and start working together as a country like we always have," the Democratic challenger said. Republican Congressman David Rivera said voters are focused on his message of creating jobs, improving the economy, and bringing fiscal responsibility back to Washington. "I think the voters realize that those are the challenges facing our nation, and they want to make sure that we reject the failed economic policies of the past," he said. (Published Tuesday, Nov 6, 2012)

    She talked with Garcia last week.

    "He said, 'We want to totally cooperate with your investigation, give you whatever information,'" she said.

    Joe Garcia Defeats U.S. Rep. David Rivera: AP

    [MI] Joe Garcia Defeats U.S. Rep. David Rivera: AP
    Democrat Joe Garcia addressed supporters Tuesday night after defeating Republican Congressman David Rivera. (Published Tuesday, Nov 6, 2012)

    On Friday, Jeff Garcia, not related to Joe, resigned at the congressman's request. Joe Garcia is serving his first term in District 26.

    At a news conference Saturday, Joe Garcia said he had no knowledge of his chief of staff allegedly requesting dozens of primary election absentee ballots.

    "I think Jeff was forthright when he spoke to me about this, it does not diminish the anger, this was an ill-conceived plan to increment voter participation," he said.

    Congressman Responds to Chief of Staff Ballot Fraud Probe

    The man who used to represent the west Miami-Dade district, Republican David Rivera, was embroiled in his own scandal while he was in office.

    The Miami Herald reported extensively on how Rivera allegedly financially propped up a Democratic candidate to run against Joe Garcia in last August's primary election. Rivera has not been charged with a crime, and has denied any wrongdoing.

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    Nova Southeastern University professor Charles Zelden says the absentee ballot system is vulnerable.

    "This is the one area we know that real voter fraud actually occurs," said Zelden.

    Voter fraud is very rare when people vote in person.

    "There is almost no voter fraud," said Zelden, but that's not the case with absentee voting.

    "I explain it with a reckless abandon that we play politics in South Florida," said Garcia. "and it should not be that way."

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