Almost three weeks after she went missing, the whereabouts of Ana Alliegro, the Florida political operative and friend of Rep. David Rivera (R-FL), are still unknown.
We do now know a bit more about her, though, thanks to The Miami Herald. In a story published Monday night, the newspaper offered more details of Alliegro's past legal run-ins — from driving with a suspended license, to minor shoplifting, to shooting at her ex-husband — and her role in the campaign of an upstart Democratic congressional primary candidate.
Alliegro, a self-described "conservative bad girl" who this summer served as campaign manager to Justin Lamar Sternad, disappeared just before a scheduled meeting with federal investigators on Sept. 6. According to reports in The Herald, prosecutors think Alliegro served as a go-between for Rivera and Sternad, a 35-year-old part-time hotel employee who challenged Joe Garcia for the Democratic nomination in Florida's 26th Congressional District. Sternad's efforts reportedly benefited from $46,000 in secret money linked to Rivera. Garcia and Rivera are facing off in the general election in November.
This isn't the first time Alliegro has attracted attention from law enforcement, the Herald reported. In 2007, she was arrested after a dispute with her ex-husband, Moshe Cosicher, at his Miami home. Alliegro apparently wanted to get remarried, and in the course of a conversation, she grabbed a gun:
She then sat naked at a desk with her leg up and compared the gun to a male sexual organ.
"If you think your [expletive] is powerful (showing the gun), this is mine," Alliegro told Cosicher, who tried to ignore her by going to make coffee, a report said. Alliegro followed him and told him to sit on the couch.
She fired a round into the ceiling.
"You see. It's loaded -- this is business," Alliegro allegedly said. He tried to leave.
"She shot at me when I approached the front door (she missed my head by inches)," Cosicher wrote in a police statement.
Alliegro — whose grandfather was Senate president in Cuba during the Batista era, and whose father helped train contra rebels in Nicaragua for the U.S. military — has made several unsuccessful runs for public office. A decade ago, she was criticized by county auditors for failing to verify $48,000 of campaign expenses from a failed 2001 bid for Miami-Dade County Commissioner.
Earlier this year, Alliegro contacted Sternad out of the blue, after he had decided to run for Congress, according to the Herald.
Enrique Yabor, a lawyer for Sternad who previously paid Alliegro for help in an unsuccessful run for a county judge seat, told the paper Sternad did not know if Alliegro was working for Rivera, despite the fact that she once told him, "I'm friends with this guy so if by some miracle you win, I will support my buddy David."
Rivera has denied being connected to Sternad, and an unsigned statement from his campaign to TPM earlier this month disputed a claim made by the Herald, that Rivera and Alliegro met the day before she vanished.
Read the whole story here.