Miami City Commissioner Alejandro “Alex” Diaz de la Portilla and his attorney, William W. Riley Jr., were arrested by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) on Thursday on charges of money laundering. The arrests come after an investigation into Diaz de la Portilla’s alleged acceptance of campaign contributions without proper disclosure.
Diaz de la Portilla, a former Republican Majority Leader in the Florida Senate, is facing multiple felony charges, including bribery, money laundering, criminal conspiracy, official misconduct, failure to report a gift, accepting a campaign contribution in excess of legal limits, and unlawful compensation or reward for official behavior.
The FDLE alleges that Diaz de la Portilla and Riley Jr. accepted over $15,000 in payments for Diaz de la Portilla’s brother’s Miami-Dade County Court judicial campaign but failed to report them as required by Florida law. Furthermore, Riley Jr. is accused of controlling a bank account in the name of a Delaware-based corporation that laundered approximately $245,000 in concealed political contributions in exchange for permission to build a sports complex in Miami.
The investigation also revealed that Diaz de la Portilla operated and controlled two political action committees that raised a total of $3.1 million for his brother’s campaign. However, the FDLE alleges that Diaz de la Portilla also used these committees for personal expenditures.
Both Diaz de la Portilla and Riley Jr. were booked into the Turner Guilford Night Detention Center. Diaz de la Portilla’s bond was set at $72,000, while Riley Jr.’s bond was set at $46,000. They are scheduled to appear in front of a judge in first appearance bond court on Friday.
The arrest of Diaz de la Portilla has sparked widespread condemnation and disappointment. Jose Arrojo, Executive Director for the Miami-Dade Commission on Ethics and Public Trust, expressed his sadness over the situation but hoped that the arrest would shed light on the alleged criminal conduct.
In response to the arrest, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis suspended Diaz de la Portilla, preventing him from performing any official acts or receiving government pay.
The case against Diaz de la Portilla and Riley Jr. is a significant development in the fight against corruption in Miami. The community is hopeful that this arrest will serve as a deterrent to other elected officials who may be tempted to abuse their positions of power.
The FDLE’s investigation and subsequent arrests demonstrate the commitment of law enforcement and ethics organizations to hold public officials accountable for their actions. The partnership between the FDLE, the Broward State Attorney’s Office, and the Miami-Dade Commission on Ethics and Public Trust highlights the importance of collaboration in combating corruption.
As the legal process unfolds, the public will be closely watching to see how the case against Diaz de la Portilla and Riley Jr. progresses. The outcome of this case will have implications not only for the individuals involved but also for the reputation of the city of Miami and its commitment to transparency and integrity in governance.
Overall, this arrest serves as a reminder that no one is above the law, and elected officials must be held accountable for their actions. The community expects and deserves ethical and responsible leadership, and any breach of that trust must be met with swift and just consequences.
0. “Florida Democrats Respond to the Arrest of Republican Miami City Commissioner Alex Díaz de la Portilla” Florida Democratic Party, 14 Sep. 2023, https://www.floridadems.org/2023/09/14/florida-democrats-respond-to-the-arrest-of-republican-miami-city-commissioner-alex-diaz-de-la-portilla/
1. “State law enforcement arrests Miami commissioner for money laundering, misconduct” Florida’s Voice, 14 Sep. 2023, https://flvoicenews.com/state-law-enforcement-arrests-miami-commissioner-for-money-laundering-misconduct/
2. “That stench in the air? It’s coming from the mess at Miami City Hall | Opinion” Miami Herald, 15 Sep. 2023, https://www.miamiherald.com/opinion/editorials/article279345854.html
3. “Coral Gables Mayor Vince Lago has business with accused money launderer – Political Cortadito” Political Cortadito, 14 Sep. 2023, https://www.politicalcortadito.com/2023/09/14/coral-gables-vince-lago-accused-money-launderer-bill-reily/
4. “Alex Diaz de la Portilla Arrested on Bribery, Money Laundering” The Real Deal, 14 Sep. 2023, https://therealdeal.com/miami/2023/09/14/alex-diaz-de-la-portilla-arrested-on-bribery-money-laundering
5. “Miami City Commissioner Alex Diaz de la Portilla charged with bribery, money laundering” CBS Miami, 15 Sep. 2023, https://www.cbsnews.com/miami/news/miami-city-commissioner-alejandro-diaz-de-la-portilla-arrested-by-fdle-facing-criminal-charges-linked-to-campaign/