Reporting Peter D’Oench
MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Congressman David Rivera is the subject of several federal investigations, including one surrounding whether he bankrolled a fellow candidate to run against his Democratic challenger.
But, Congressman Rivera has been avoiding talking to the media ever since the details came to light and continued to do so Friday.
Rivera made a rare public appearance Friday to talk about deferred action, the so-called mini Dream Act President Obama announced earlier this year. CBS4’s Peter D’Oench was at the event and Rivera avoided talking about his issues.
Congressman Rivera claimed that inside his election office, he can only talk about government business.
“It’s very simple, as I said before, we are in an official, federal government office. Any communications that get done in this office have to be related to official government business,” Rivera said. “I think that’s the appropriate way to do this.”
D’Oench asked Rivera if he would speak about the investigations outside his office but he declined to. D’Oench and other news crews were staked out at Rivera’s office all day for further comment. But Rivera apparently left through a side door without saying anything at all.
Throughout the day, D’Oench noticed a steady stream of staffers coming and going from Rivera’s office and food and coffee being brought in. There was even a staffer there from the local Democratic Party who had a small video camera and who was waiting for Rivera to leave. But neither he nor anyone else saw how Rivera left.
D’Oench reported that he expected that the Congressman would enter through the front door of his office. But instead, he drove to the 2nd floor of the parking garage by his office, got out of his car and entered that office through a back door down a dark hallway.
D’Oench wanted to ask Rivera about investigations into possible tax evasion, using campaign donations for personal expenses and possible campaign violations for bankrolling a flier campaign for Justin Lamar Sternad, a democratic candidate who was opposing Rivera’s democratic opponent Joe Rivera.
D’Oench also tried to ask Rivera about Ana Alliegro, a woman who was tied to that campaign and who’s been missing nearly three weeks. But Rivera again insisted he could only speak about government business inside his District office at 12851 S.W. 42nd St.
Former Congressional candidate Annette Taddeo said the questions have already been answered, albeit in an indirect way.
“The Republican Party has already answered those questions he refuses to answer,” Taddeo said. “They refused to let him be there with candidate Romney. They refused to let him be there with the candidate running for Senate. So they have let it be known to the voters that he is radioactive.”
Rivera, who is once again facing a challenge from Joe Garcia, has been almost shunned by the Republican Party since the allegations surfaced. Even his friend Senator Marco Rubio has avoided talking about Rivera’s problems.