David Rivera won't talk FBI investigation

US Rep. under investigation for alleged ties to Justin Lamar Sternad

Author: Michael Putney, Senior Political Reporter, mputney@Local10.com
Published On: Oct 05 2012 05:58:19 PM EDT   Updated On: Oct 06 2012 05:34:26 PM EDT
KENDALL, Fla. -

Rep. David Rivera (R- Miami) summoned reporters to his district office Friday morning for a news conference, but refused to speak about anything but the stated purpose -- deferred action for undocumented children.

Rivera was accompanied by four young undocumented immigrants, including Daniela Pelaez of North Miami, who was spared deportation to Colombia by President Obama. She and her sister Dyana, who was also at the news conference, have received deferred action. 

“There’s nothing to be afraid of by applying,” Daniela said.

But when asked about the ongoing FBI investigation into his reported ties to former congressional candidate Justin Lamar Sternad, a Democrat, Rivera said he couldn’t talk about it in his district office. 

“In a federal legislative office, we can only do official government business,” Rivera said. “Anything campaign-related, we have to talk about outside.” 

We asked Rivera to step outside to answer questions, but he refused.

It’s been widely reported, including by Local 10, that the FBI and a federal grand jury are trying to determine if the $64,000 that Sternad spent on his unsuccessful campaign was funneled to him through Ana Alliegro, a political consultant who is close to Rivera. The congressman has said he doesn’t know Sternad and had nothing to do with his campaign. 

Sternad has said the money was a “loan,” but didn’t say from whom.

“David’s a personal friend,” Sen. Marco Rubio said later during an event at Kristi House in Miami. “And, like any personal friend, I hope this works out for him. That’s my hope for him.”