At the same time that Sternad’s campaign was breaking election law, Garcia’s campaign was as well, however.
After a Miami Herald report raised questions about suspicious absentee-ballot requests during the August 2012 Democratic primary, the state attorney’s office tracked some of them to three Garcia campaign workers.
Two workers’ homes were subsequently raided and Garcia’s top adviser and chief of staff, Jeffrey Garcia, admitted he was behind it.
No relation to the congressman, Jeffrey Garcia was promptly fired from his job and pleaded guilty Monday to masterminding the scheme, which did not result in any fraudulent ballots cast. Rep. Joe Garcia denied wrongdoing.
Now, Jeffrey Garcia faces yet another investigation involving yet another shadowy candidate in yet another campaign that involved Joe Garcia and David Rivera.
In 2010, a political unknown and friend of Jeffrey Garcia named Jose Rolando ‘Roly’ Arrojo ran as a Tea Party candidate and attacked Rivera using secretly funded mailers.
The scheme appeared similar to Sternad’s two years later, and Sternad’s lawyer, Rick Yabor, complained to the FBI and the news media that Arrojo should be investigated as well.
The Miami Herald then began examining the case and learned that Arrojo used a printing and mail house used by Joe Garcia’s campaign. The FBI began investigating, and a campaign consultant then told agents and the Herald that Jeffrey Garcia was behind Arrojo’s mailers.
The Sternad case is a higher priority at the moment. Sternad’s lawyer, Yabor, refused to comment about his client.
Sternad, who is cooperating with authorities, has yet to be sentenced and faces little to no prison time. Alliegro wants the same deal, sources say.
Alliegro, who was jailed briefly on an unrelated traffic citation last year, fled the country soon after. She said she opened a beauty salon in Nicaragua and was in frequent contact with Rivera.
Alliegro’s father told the Miami Herald that he was not underwriting her expenses at the time.
As time dragged on, Alliegro wanted to come home and the feds wanted her to talk. She has one over-arching demand, said one source who knows her: “She definitely doesn’t want to go back to jail.”