MIAMI (CBS4) – The chief of staff for Congressman Joe Garcia abruptly resigned Friday after he was implicated in a scheme regarding fraudulent absentee-ballot requests, according to CBS4 News partner The Miami Herald.
Garcia asked Jeffrey Garcia, no relation, for his resignation after the allegations came to light. Jeffrey Garcia reportedly took responsibility for that plot that saw manipulation of last year’s primary elections by the submission of hundreds of fraudulent absentee-ballot requests.
Joe Garcia, who also employed Jeffrey Garcia as his top political strategist, claimed he was unaware of the scheme,
“I’m shocked and disappointed about this,” Garcia told the paper. “This is something that hit me from left field. Until today, I had no earthly idea this was going on.”
Jeffrey Garcia, 40, had no comment when reached by the Herald.
Garcia’s resignation comes on the same day law enforcement investigators raided the homes of Giancarlo Sopo, 30, Joe Garcia’s communications director; and John Estes, 26, his 2012 campaign manager. The Miami Herald is reporting that a third search warrant was issued and executed, but it is unclear where.
The new developments are part of an ongoing probe into voter fraud after an investigation by the paper found that 2,552 fraudulent absentee ballot requests for the August primary originated from the same Internet Protocol, or IP, address in Miami.
Congressman Joe Garcia has scheduled a news conference for Saturday morning at 9:30 a.m. to address the Garcia’s resignation.
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