Feds investigate Fla rep's campaign contributions

By the Associated Press | October 21, 2011 | 7:45 PM EDT

MIAMI (AP) — The Justice Department is investigating whether a three-term Florida congressman broke campaign finance laws.

Justice is looking into whether Rep. Vern Buchanan directed a former business partner at a Jacksonville auto dealership to reimburse employees for political contributions to his campaign.

The Sarasota Republican's campaign said in a statement Tuesday that they expected the investigation but are confident he and they will be cleared. The Federal Election Commission cleared the campaign earlier this year.

Following a recommendation from the FEC, a federal court last week fined the now-defunct Hyundai of North Jacksonville nearly $68,000 for improperly reimbursing workers who contributed to the Buchanan's campaign from 2005 to 2007. Buchanan was partial owner of the dealership from 2004 to 2008.

Company owner Sam Kazran says he was acting on Buchanan's directions.