Could the city of Miami, Miami-Dade County and the Florida Marlins have conspired to knowingly portray the baseball franchise as financially floundering when in fact, they’ve profited from baseball’s revenue sharing (and their own skinflint ways) en route to securing public financing for their new glittering ballpark? That’s what the Securities & Exchange Commission hopes to determine, giving rise to hopes, however slim, that Jeffrey Lora (above) might be shanked in a medium security facility. The following details were authored by the Miami Herald’s Charles Rabin, Martha Brannigan and Patricia Mazzei (link swiped from Biz Of Baseball’s Maury Brown) :
In a pair of lengthy letters delivered to government attorneys Thursday, the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission gave the city and county until Jan. 6 to deliver everything from minutes of meetings between government leaders and Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria and Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig, to records of Marlins finances dating back to 2007.
In the almost-identical subpoenas, the SEC also requested documents concerning stadium parking garages built by Miami. The Miami Herald reported Nov. 22 that city leaders are now complaining they were hoodwinked into likely having to pay an annual $2 million tax bill on the garages.
The financing agreement to build the controversial new stadium in Little Havana left the county and city on the hook for almost 80 percent of the overall $634 million tab, which critics considered a giveaway to the Marlins. The deal was a contributing factor in the recall of Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Alvarez, who championed it.
The subpoenas focus heavily on the Marlins, requesting communications to and from team executives, documentation that might show the team’s ability to pay for or contribute to the financing of the stadium, and information on any meetings involving not only Loria and Selig, but also team President David Samson and former Major League Baseball president and chief operating officer Robert DuPuy. DuPuy was instrumental at the latter end of the hard-fought deal.
The news was an unwelcome blow to the city. Miami remains the focus of a separate, two-year SEC investigation into bond dealings dating back to 2006 — a probe that has already cost the city $1.4 million.