Newly-Elected GOP Congressman Under Investigation For Secret Payments
Most of the money was paid in early 2008, weeks after Rivera — then a member of the Florida House of Representatives — helped run a political campaign backed by the dog track to win voter approval for Las Vegas-style slot machines at parimutuel venues in Miami-Dade County.
The dog track — now called the Magic City Casino — made three payments totaling $510,000 to Millennium Marketing, a company currently co-managed by Rivera’s 70-year-old mother. Investigators are still trying to determine if Rivera himself received any of the money, or if anything about the transaction was illegal, according to sources close to the inquiry.
Rivera says he never received money from the track or from his mother’s company.
In the statement, Rivera said he was “designated by Millennium” [his mother’s company] to work on the slots campaign after the firm was hired by Flagler, and added he has not been contacted by investigators. At the time the contract was signed, Millennium’s sole corporate officer was Rivera’s godmother, Ileana Medina.
But Roberto Martinez, an attorney for the dog track, said it was Rivera who first approached the track owners in 2006 asking to manage the slots campaign, and it was Rivera who suggested that the contract go through Millennium, rather than to Rivera directly. Flagler’s contract with Millennium was signed by both Rivera and Medina.Click here for reuse options!
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