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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

How Marco Rubio helped his ex-con brother-in-law get a real estate license



From the Washington Post:

When Marco Rubio was majority whip of the Florida House of Representatives, he used his official position to urge state regulators to grant a real estate license to his brother-in-law, a convicted cocaine trafficker who had been released from prison 20 months earlier, according to records obtained by the Washington Post.

n July 2002, Rubio sent a letter on his official statehouse stationery to the Florida Division of Real Estate, recommending Orlando Cicilia "for licensure without reservation." The letter, obtained by the Washington Post under the Florida Public Records Act, offers a glimpse of Rubio using his growing political power to assist his troubled brother-in-law and provides new insight into how the young lawmaker intertwined his personal and political lives.

Rubio did not disclose in the letter that Cicilia was married to his sister, Barbara, or that the former cocaine dealer was living at the time in the same West Miami home as Rubio's parents. He wrote that he had known Cicilia "for over 25 years," without elaborating.

Rubio has avoided discussing Cicilia's case in detail and has declined to answer questions about his relationship with his brother-in-law. Earlier this month, prior to the Post publishing an article about Cicilia's case, Rubio declined to answer a written question about whether he had helped win the approval of his brother-in-law's real estate license.

Rubio also declined to say whether he or his family received financial assistance from Cicilia, who was convicted in a high-profile 1989 trial of distributing $15 million worth of cocaine. The federal government seized Cicilia's home; the money has never been found.

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[Last modified: Thursday, December 31, 2015 10:49am]


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