House Chief of Staff Resigns Amid Election Scandal

Garcia's chief of staff has resigned. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Joe Garcia, D-Fla., asked his chief of staff to resign on Friday for his alleged role in an absentee ballot scheme in last year's primaries.

The Miami Herald reported:

Congressman Joe Garcia’s chief of staff abruptly resigned Friday after being implicated in a sophisticated scheme to manipulate last year’s primary elections by submitting hundreds of fraudulent absentee-ballot requests.

Friday afternoon, Garcia said he had asked Jeffrey Garcia, no relation, for his resignation after the chief of staff — also the congressman’s top political strategist — took responsibility for the plot. Hours earlier, law enforcement investigators raided the homes of another of Joe Garcia’s employees and a former campaign aide in connection with an ongoing criminal investigation into the matter.

The congressman denied involvement in the allegations to the paper.

Rep. Garcia won the seat by defeating GOP then-Rep. David Rivera, whose campaign was also mired in ethical troubles.

Holding on to the seat is a top priority for House Democrats. Republicans were floating names of potential challengers as early as January.

Efforts to reach Rep. Garcia's office for comment were not immediately successful.

Topics: fla-26 florida poli