TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Friday suspended Miami City Commissioner Alex Diaz de la Portilla after he was arrested Thursday on money laundering and bribery charges.
DeSantis signed the executive order Friday suspending Diaz de la Portilla until further notice.
Diaz de la Portilla and a co-defendant, Miami attorney William Riley Jr., accepted more than $15,000 in payments for the Miami-Dade County Court judicial campaign of Diaz de la Portilla’s brother but did not report them, as required by state law, investigators said. Riley also controlled a bank account in the name of a Delaware-based corporation to launder about $245,000 in concealed political contributions made by a management services company in exchange for permission to build a sports complex in the city of Miami, officials said.
Investigators also said that Diaz de la Portilla operated and controlled two political committees used not only to support his brother’s campaign, but also for personal expenditures. Records showed that one of the committees reported total donations of about $2.3 million and the other reported total donations of more than $800,000.
Diaz de la Portilla, 58, and Riley, 48, have each been charged with one count of money laundering, three counts of unlawful compensation or reward for official behavior, one count of bribery and one count of criminal conspiracy. Diaz de la Portilla is also charged with four counts of official misconduct, one count of campaign contribution in excess of legal limits and two counts of failure to report a gift. Riley is also charged with failure to disclose lobbyist expenses.
Diaz de la Portilla has called the charges “politically motivated.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.