U.S. Rep. Joe Garcia’s former chief of staff and top advisor is under FBI investigation for his ties to a phony Tea Party candidate’s secretly funded mail campaign, the Miami Herald has learned.
Consultant Jeffrey Garcia, no relation to the Miami Democratic congressman, already faces a separate state criminal investigation for allegedly requesting absentee ballots of voters without their permission.
Rep. Garcia has denied participating in or knowing about either scandal. Jeffrey Garcia won’t comment.
In the newly opened federal investigation, a political consultant who worked for Garcia’s campaign told the Herald and the FBI that Jeffrey Garcia was behind then-Tea Party candidate Roly Arrojo’s mailers that attacked a rival of Garcia’s, Republican David Rivera, in the 2010 congressional election.