Jose Lambiet

Cops say school treasurer dipped into funds, and she’s a city councilwoman to boot

Lisa Rivera
Lisa Rivera

Another South Florida elected official is in the sights of law enforcement.

Lisa Rivera, the first Hispanic on the City Council of Greenacres in Palm Beach County, was quietly arrested by the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office on Monday and accused of stealing $23,085.85 from the school where she was treasurer.

The second term councilwoman was booked into the county jail about 3 p.m. and was released an hour later on $10,000 bond. Rivera was charged with grand theft, an organized scheme to defraud and official misconduct, all felonies.

According to the probable cause affidavit, Rivera was charged in her capacity as treasurer of Boca Raton Community High School.

According to the paperwork, she has known she was under investigation since October 2016, when she was first contacted by a school board police detective. She refused to talk to him, denied any wrongdoing and hired a lawyer.

Then, Rivera ran unopposed for a second term in March.

Rivera resigned the school gig in 2015, according to school board records.

According to the 50-page probable cause affidavit, Rivera dipped into the school's main safe then replaced the money through checks deposited into the school’s account.

Some of the deposits were undocumented and some, including checks from parents for activities like sports, were miscalculated. Her alleged scheme was discovered during an audit started in 2015.

Riviera, 47, is the wife of PBSO Deputy Vidal Rivera.

When reached at home, Rivera said she had no comment and referred all questions to her attorney. That attorney didn't reply to several requests for comment.

When asked if she planned to resign her elected position, Rivera referred that question to the lawyer.

Neither the mayor nor three of her council colleagues returned calls for comment.