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Miami Beach City Commissioner Ricky Arriola
Miami Beach City Commissioner Ricky Arriola
City of Miami Beach Government

Miami Beach Commissioner Accused of Attempted Sexual Battery, Report Says UPDATED

Update 2/26: The Miami-Dade County State Attorney's Office declined to charge Arriola with a crime, after the victim declined to give further statements to prosecutors. According to NBC Miami, the woman alleged in a complaint to Miami Beach Police that Arriola touched her inappropriately while the pair were sitting in her car, but that he stopped when she asked. Arriola said that he was "cleared and totally vindicated."

One City of Miami Beach commissioner was forced to resign and pleaded no contest to campaign-finance violations. Another is in hot water for trying to help a major campaign donor out of trouble with the police.

And now Commissioner Ricky Arriola is reportedly the subject of an investigation into attempted sexual battery, the Miami Herald reported minutes ago. Both Miami Beach Police and Arriola himself confirmed the existence of the investigation to the Herald. He has not been charged with a crime.

Arriola provided New Times with the same statement he gave the Herald this afternoon.

“There is zero truth to the complaint in question,” he said. "I was on a first date with a woman who I met on an online dating site. I felt that she had too much to drink over dinner and she was intoxicated, so I believed that the best thing to do was end the date and go home."

He added that "multiple witnesses" can confirm he took the allegedly intoxicated woman home.

Miami Beach Police spokesperson Ernesto Rodriguez confirmed the investigation exists but said he could not comment further because the matter had been referred to the Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office. He provided a redacted incident report, which shows the woman's complaint was filed after 5 p.m. yesterday.

The rest of the complaint's contents are not yet public, so it's not yet known what the currently anonymous woman alleges.

Arriola is serving his first term on the city commission — he's best known for helping former Mayor Philip Levine spearhead initiatives to "clean up" crime on Ocean Drive and curtail nightlife in the city's other major tourist areas. A wealthy man, Arriola founded Inktel, a call-center outsourcing company, and was once appointed to President Barack Obama's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities. He has been touring the state campaigning for Levine, who is mounting a Democratic run for governor. It's unclear if Arriola will continue the tour as the investigation progresses.

This is a breaking story. This post will be updated.

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