Published December 21, 2015
The top staffer for Florida Democratic Rep. Joe Garcia resigned this weekend after being implicated in a voting-fraud scheme.
Chief of Staff Jeffrey Garcia resigned Friday after taking responsibility for the plot and being asked by the congressman for his resignation.
The congressman said Saturday he thinks the plot was a “well-intentioned attempt to maximize voter turnout” and that the system is “prone to fraud.”
Several hours before the resignation, law-enforcement investigators raided the homes of Giancarlo Sopo, the congressman's communications director, and John Estes, his 2012 campaign manager.
Authorities are investigating a sophisticated scheme to manipulate last year's primary elections by submitting hundreds of fraudulent absentee-ballot requests.
Garcia won the primary and later defeated incumbent Republican David Rivera in the general election.
That primary resulted in a separate, federal corruption investigation into whether Rivera had ties to the illegally funded primary campaign of one of Garcia's opponents. Rivera has denied any wrongdoing.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.