Less than a week before trial, a onetime close associate of former U.S. Rep. David Rivera pleaded guilty Tuesday to four charges in a long-running campaign finance investigation that also implicates Rivera.
Attorneys for Ana Alliegro announced in a surprise that she would plead guilty rather than go to trial Monday. Prosecutor Thomas Mulvihill said there was no plea agreement requiring Alliegro to cooperate as a government witness against Rivera.
Her attorney, Richard Klugh, said there was no written deal in place.
"There is no guaranteed benefit for the plea. She's just accepted responsibility," he said.
Rivera, a Republican, has not been charged and has repeatedly denied wrongdoing. Alliegro, 44, was accused of funneling about $80,000 to an unknown Democratic candidate, Justin Sternad, in the 2012 primary for the House seat then held by Rivera. Prosecutors say the goal was to weaken Democrat Joe Garcia, who won anyway and later defeated Rivera in the general election.
Mulvihill said Tuesday for the first time publicly that Rivera was part of the conspiracy when asked for the name by U.S. District Judge Robert Scola. In the past, Rivera was identified only as "co-conspirator A" in court documents.
Rivera did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment Tuesday.
Earlier this year, Rivera filed papers to run for his old 26th District House seat again, then suspended his campaign in July. Recently, however, Rivera has been participating in campaign events such as a candidates forum over the weekend, and his name will appear on next Tuesday's GOP primary ballot.
Alliegro, meanwhile, is to be sentenced Sept. 10. The four charges against her each carry potential five-year prison sentences, but she is likely to get far less because she has now pleaded guilty and may cooperate in the ongoing investigation. Sternad also pleaded guilty and was sentenced to seven months in prison.
Tuesday, August 19, 2014
Ana Alliegro pleads guilty on eve of trial
Curt Anderson, from the AP, covers it here: