Source of Florida U.S. House candidate Rivera's income is unclear

The Miami HeraldOctober 13, 2010 

Over the past seven years, Republican state Rep. David Rivera repeatedly said in sworn documents that his main source of income, outside of his salary from the Legislature, came from consulting work he did for the U.S. Agency for International Development.

But USAID has no record of ever hiring Rivera -- now a candidate for Congress -- or his company.

``We do not have Mr. Rivera nor the corporations you referred to in our records,'' USAID press officer Annette Aulton told The Miami Herald in an e-mail.

When asked by The Herald about his work with USAID, Rivera gave conflicting explanations, first saying he won the USAID contracts through competitive bidding, but later saying he worked only as a subcontractor to other USAID contractors -- whom Rivera would not identify.

Rivera listed USAID as a source of income in financial-disclosure forms filed with the Florida Commission on Ethics from 2003 to 2009. In the documents, required of all elected officials, Rivera said he worked for USAID through a Puerto Rican company called Interamerican Government Relations, performing ``international development consulting.''

Rivera told The Herald that he started the company with a partner he would not name. Corporate documents in Puerto Rico show only the existence of the company, but does not name the principals.

For the past four years, USAID was the only additional source of income reported by Rivera, aside from his $30,000 annual salary from the Legislature. Since 2003, Rivera has not disclosed how much money he earned from his consulting work -- though state ethics rules require lawmakers to report any annual income over $1,000.

Violations of state ethics laws can lead to civil fines.

To read the complete article, visit www.miamiherald.com.

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