This Week in South Florida: Rivera on the attack

By Michael Putney, Senior Political Reporter, mputney@Local10.com
Published On: Oct 14 2012 06:13:20 PM EDT
Updated On: Oct 31 2012 08:38:01 AM EDT

Fireworks on Local 10 from a Miami congressman who is under investigation by the FBI. David Rivera appeared with Senior Political reporter Michael Putney on 'This Week in South Florida.'

PEMBROKE PARK, Fla. -

Miami Congressman David Rivera was on the offensive from the get-go when he appeared as a guest Sunday on “This Week in South Florida” on Local 10 News.

WATCH: Part 1 | Part 2

“No federal agency has said David Rivera is under investigation for anything,” Rivera said, when asked if he is under investigation by the FBI.

Several sources have told Local 10 and the Miami Herald that he is under investigation. Rivera emphatically denied it.

Local 10 sources said Rivera is being investigated for his alleged connection to the campaign of Democratic candidate Justin Lamar Sternad, a Democrat who lost in the August primary.

Asked why he has hired a well-known Miami criminal defense attorney, Michael Band, Rivera denied that, too. He said Band represented him last year when he was investigated by state authorities for financial irregularities. No charges were ever brought.

Rivera, at one point, reached into his suit pocket and brought out an audio recorder and played what he said was a voice mail message from Hugh Cochran, a former FBI agent, who now mines voter data for campaigns. The call was allegedly made to El Nuevo Herald editor Manny Garcia.

He says he never received such a voice mail message from Cochran. Rivera accused Garcia of “fabricating” stories unfavorable to the congressman.

“Under no circumstances would we ever concoct information to discredit anybody,” Garcia said in a phone interview. “Our stories go through the filter of our lawyers and are rock solid.”

When asked where he got the tape, Rivera texted Local 10's Michael Putney, “Wouldn’t u like to know?”

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