By Patricia Mazzei. Congressman Joe Garcia’s chief of staff abruptly resigned Friday after being implicated in a sophisticated scheme to manipulate last year’s primary elections by submitting hundreds of fraudulent absentee-ballot requests.
Friday afternoon, Garcia said he had asked Jeffrey Garcia, no relation, for his resignation after the chief of staff — also the congressman’s top political strategist — took responsibility for the plot. Hours earlier, law enforcement investigators raided the homes of another of Joe Garcia’s employees and a former campaign aide in connection with an ongoing criminal investigation into the matter.
“I’m shocked and disappointed about this,” Garcia, who said he was unaware of the scheme, told The Miami Herald. “This is something that hit me from left field. Until today, I had no earthly idea this was going on.”
Jeffrey Garcia, 40, declined to comment. He also worked last year on the campaign of Democrat Patrick Murphy of Jupiter, who unseated tea-party Republican congressman Allen West. Murphy has not been implicated in the phantom-requests operation. Read more from this story HERE.
Congressman denies involvement in staffer’s alleged vote fraud attempt
By Gregory Wallace. U.S. Rep. Joe Garcia said Saturday he was saddened and disappointed by absentee ballot fraud allegations leveled against his former chief of staff.
The congressman said at a press conference he asked for the staffer’s resignation and called for fixes to the “flawed voter absentee process” which left the system vulnerable.
Garcia said he demanded the resignation of chief of staff Jeffrey Garcia (no relation, according to local media reports), then fired him shortly after learning of the allegations Friday afternoon.
No fraudulent ballots were cast as a result of this alleged plot, the congressman said.
“I’ve asked an attorney to investigate what went on and interview the people. I have asked all of my staff to fully cooperate with any investigation,” he said. “Here’s the good part about this – from my conversations thus far, no ballots were tampered with, no ballots were touched. Read more from this story HERE.