GREENACRES — Councilwoman Lisa Rivera, the first Hispanic on the council in this heavily Latin city, was quietly arrested by the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office this afternoon.
She was booked into the county jail about 3 p.m., according to PBSO documents, and was released an hour later on $10,000-bond, something that indicates she probably was allowed by State Attorney Dave Aronberg to surrender and avoid a public march in handcuffs to a squad car.
Rivera was charged with grand theft, organized scheme to defraud and official misconduct. Both are felonies that could fetch more than one year in prison each.
According to the probable cause affidavit obtained by Gossip Extra before anyone else, Rivera was charged in her capacity as treasurer of Boca Raton Community High School and has known she was under investigation for at least seven months.
In October, she was contacted by Palm Beach County School District Police and told she was the target of a probe but neglected to tell her council colleagues and voters. She was reelected with no opposition in March.
She resigned the school gig in 2015, according to school board records.
According to the 50-page probable cause affidavit, Rivera allegedly dipped in the school’s main bank account, to the tune of $23,000.
She then allegedly hid the accounting discrepancies by improperly calculating the hundreds of deposits she made to the account.
Some of the deposits she failed to count properly included dozens of checks from parents for activities, including sports. Her scheme was discovered during an audit started in 2015.
Riviera, 47, the wife of PBSO Deputy Vidal Rivera, appears to have benefited from special treatment while in the slammer: Her booking photo, address and date of birth are missing from the sheriff’s online booking blotter and that, along with unadulterated incompetence, could be the reason why the corporate media haven’t reported the arrest.
Like Sheriff Ric Bradshaw and Aronberg, Rivera is a prominent local Democrat.
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When reached at home tonight, Rivera said she had no comment and referred all questions to her attorney. That attorney didn’t reply to several requests for comment.
When asked if she planned to resign her elected position, Rivera referred that question to the lawyer..