Justin Lamar Sternad's wife douses Michael Putney

FBI investigates Sternad's relationship to US Congressman David Rivera

Author: Michael Putney, Political Reporter, mputney@Local10.com
Published On: Sep 26 2012 06:18:31 PM EDT   Updated On: Sep 27 2012 11:41:02 AM EDT
Michael Putney splashed2
CUTLER BAY, Fla. -

When I knocked on Justin Lamar Sternad’s door Wednesday, I noticed a sign warning, “Trespassers leave -- or get wet.” I didn’t leave and got wet.

When a woman in her 30’s, presumably Mrs. Sternad, opened the door, she splashed a pitcher of water on me and then slammed the door shut.

WATCH: Michael Putney gets splashed

I went to the home hoping to get some answers from Justin Lamar Sternad, who ran for the Democratic nomination to Congress last August in the 26th District. That’s where Republican David Rivera is the incumbent.

But Democratic candidate Joe Garcia, who won the primary, suspected early on that Sternad was a straw candidate put into the race by Rivera. 

Sternad, a political neophyte with little money, sent out at least a dozen sophisticated campaign mailers to voters in the congressional district. The printer and mail facility that handled the mailers have been used in the past by Rivera and at least one owner says Rivera was involved in Sternad’s campaign. Rivera has consistently denied ever knowing Sternad or helping in his campaign.

The apparent go-between was political consultant Ana Sol Alliegro, who has had both a personal and professional relationship with Rivera, including posting pictures of the two on her Facebook page. She managed Sternad’s campaign.

Alliegro was scheduled to speak with FBI agents investigating the Sternad campaign and its alleged link to Rivera, but she has disappeared. The FBI began a probe into Sternad's campaign funding last month.

Neither Rivera nor Alliegro returned my phone calls Wednesday and Alliegro’s attorney refused to comment.