Miami Beach Commissioner Ricky Arriola is under investigation following an allegation of sexual battery.
The woman, whom Arriola says he met on an online dating website, filed the complaint against Arriola after 5 p.m. on Wednesday. Miami Beach police confirmed the investigation Thursday and said Miami Beach Police Chief Daniel Oates had asked the Miami-Dade state attorney’s office to conduct it.
“The investigation was referred to the state attorney’s office at the direction of Chief Daniel Oates to avoid any potential conflict of interest,” said police spokesman Ernesto Rodriguez.
Ed Griffith, spokesman for the state attorney, did not confirm an investigation.
“The state attorney’s office would always review any matter brought to us by the Miami Beach Police Department,” he said. “However, we would neither confirm nor deny the existence of any ongoing investigation.”
The woman has not been publicly identified and details of her allegations are unclear. Police released a copy of the incident report, which lists the alleged offense as sexual battery without causing serious personal injury. But the entire narrative of the allegation, which the woman says occurred on the evening of Dec. 15, had been blacked out.
As of Thursday, no charges have been filed against the commissioner.
Arriola, 49, responded in a prepared statement with his account of what happened.
“There is zero truth to the complaint in question,” he wrote. “I was on a first date with a woman who I met on an online dating site. I felt that she had too much to drink over dinner and she was intoxicated, so I believed that the best thing to do was end the date and go home.
“She was upset with my decision, but I knew this was the right thing to do. Multiple witnesses who saw us that evening can confirm this sequence of events.”
Arriola was elected in 2015 to a four-year term as the Group 5 commissioner on the Miami Beach commission. It is his first election to public office. He is the CEO of Inktel Holdings LLC, a call center outsourcing company based in Doral.
This week, Arriola joined former Miami Beach mayor and gubernatorial candidate Philip Levine as he toured Florida to meet with voters.
Herald staff writer Charles Rabin contributed to this report.