NEW: Governor suspends Greenacres councilwoman Lisa Rivera

Gov. Rick Scott suspended Greenacres Councilwoman Lisa Rivera late Wednesday.

Rivera was arrested Monday on charges of stealing more than $23,000 while she was a treasurer at Boca Raton High School. She is a two-term Greenacres councilwoman.

A state statute gives the governor the authority to suspend elected officials charged with crimes.

Rivera, 47, did not respond to a request for comment Wednesday. She denied the allegations, according to Palm Beach County School District Police report.

Earlier Wednesday, City Manager Andrea McCue said if Scott suspended Rivera, first elected in 2015 and re-elected this year while running unopposed, the city would appoint a temporary replacement to fill the vacancy until the the term expires in 2019 or until Rivera’s suspension is lifted.

The city is familiar with the procedure.

After former Councilman Jonathan Pearce resigned his District IV seat to run for mayor this year, in April the city appointed Anderson Thelusme, a financial services representative, for the remaining one-year term.

McCue said the city would advertise Rivera’s seat and begin accepting resumes and letters of interest.

The candidates would be interviewed at the July 17 council meeting, McCue said.

Meanwhile, Rivera’s arrest shook up Greenacres.

McCue called it an unwanted distraction.

“The impact is the exposure for the city,” she said. “But there was no involvement by the city. We just want to make sure we continue with business as usual.”

Councilwoman Paula Bousquet called Monday a “terrible” day.

“I’ve had some concerns about some of the decisions (Rivera) made and why they were made,” Bousquet said, declining to elaborate. “It was just a sad day.”

Palm Beach County School District detectives say Rivera stole tens of thousands of dollars from Boca Raton High between 2013 and 2015 by pulling cash from deposits left in the school’s safe and replacing the missing money with checks paid to the school but never registered.

Rivera was a veteran school treasurer who had worked for the school district since 1990. Before becoming Boca Raton High treasurer in 2011, she had served in the same role at Bak Middle School of the Arts and Christa McAuliffe Middle, records show.

The arrest was the second in less than a week of a county school treasurer.

Cathleen Spring, a former Bak Middle treasurer, was arrested Friday on check-forgery charges.

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Local

Boynton’s ‘sanctuary city’ discussion turns personal and petulant
Boynton’s ‘sanctuary city’ discussion turns personal and petulant

A commissioner’s proposal that Boynton Beach become a sanctuary city sparked deep-rooted response among residents — some have called for her resignation, while other supporters have labeled an outspoken opponent a white supremacist. The turmoil is unraveling even though the issue is moot. The City Commission...
NEW: Man carjacks, crashes taxi into Trump National in Jupiter
NEW: Man carjacks, crashes taxi into Trump National in Jupiter

A 56-year-old New Jersey man is accused of carjacking a taxi late Saturday and then crashing it into the guard gate at Trump National Golf Club in Jupiter, according to city police. Robert Smith was arrested on Sunday morning on one count of unarmed carjacking and released Monday afternoon from the Palm Beach County Jail, according to records. He was...
NEW: FAA OKs developer Greene’s One West Palm 30-story towers
NEW: FAA OKs developer Greene’s One West Palm 30-story towers

The last hurdle has been cleared for West Palm Beach’s first luxury office tower in years and its accompanying hotel and condo tower, with a determination Monday by the Federal Aviation Administration that the two 30-story downtown buildings would not interfere with Palm Beach International flights. The finding for the One West Palm project at...
Family, friends celebrate Kirk Douglas’s 101st year
Family, friends celebrate Kirk Douglas’s 101st year

Kirk Douglas had a lot of help to blow out his many birthday candles over the weekend. Deadline Hollywood reported that the Hollywood legend rang in 101 years on Saturday at his Beverly Hills home and was showered with tributes from his famous family.  The senior Douglas’ 17-year-old grandson, Dylan Douglas, posted a photo on an Instagram ...
Palm Beach County Judge Dana Santino should be off bench, panel says
Palm Beach County Judge Dana Santino should be off bench, panel says

Neither good works on the bench nor claims of accepted responsibility from Palm Beach County Judge Dana Santino are enough for her to keep the job she won in a 2016 election where she bashed her opponent for being a criminal defense attorney, according to a judicial panel that has recommended the Florida Supreme Court require her to step down. An attorney...
More Stories