Bank apologizes for HD 113 candidate Laura Rivero Levey’s bounced check, asks she be put back on ballot

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State Rep. David Richardson may have to put his re-election celebration on hold.

Laura Rivero Levey, the Republican hopeful dropped from the race after her qualifying check bounced, has sent a letter to the state demanding her reinstatement on the House District 113 ballot. With it comes an apology from the bank for its error in dishonoring the check.

In a letter dated July 3 to Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner, attorney Richard E. Coates maintains that Levey was the innocent victim of bank error, something out of the candidate’s control.

SunTrust Bank, where Levey holds her campaign account, put the improper hold on a $2,000 check written June 12 from the Republican Party of Florida, although records show the check actually cleared on June 16. The inappropriate hold caused the return of Levey’s check to the Department of State on June 17 for the $1,781.82 filing fee.

Levey was not notified her campaign check was dishonored until Tuesday, July 1.

With Levey’s disqualification, Democrat Richardson became the unopposed winner in the district representing parts of Miami Beach, downtown Miami, and Little Havana.

But that may not be the case, at least for now.

Along with the hand-delivered letter was a cashier’s check from Levey’s campaign account for the filing fee.

“This check is being tendered as expeditiously as possible,” Coates writes, “given the campaign’s lack of timely notice under Subsubsection 99.061(7)(a), Florida Statutes.”

“On behalf Ms. Levey,” Coates continues, “demand is made that the Department of State accept the tendered cashier’s check and update its records to reflect Ms. Levey as the qualified Republican candidate for House District 113.”

Included with the attorney’s letter was a note from David Rowan, Senior Vice President of SunTrust Bank, explaining the error and asking Detzner to reinstate Levey’s candidacy. Rowan apologizes for the error, and hopes the incident “not hinder our client’s ability to do business” with SunTrust in the future.

As of Tuesday, Richardson remains listed as Unopposed on the Division of Elections website.

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Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.