By Chuck Strouse
By Scott Fishman
By Terrence McCoy
By Ryan Yousefi
By Ciara LaVelle, Kat Bein, Carolina Del Busto, and Liz Tracy
By Pepe Billete
By Ryan Yousefi
By Kyle Swenson
FOR RALPH ARZA
1. In the tape-recorded conversation, attorney Stanley Price, Masoud Shojaee of Shoma Development, and an unidentified third person discuss hiring you for the purposes of lobbying. In a subsequent interview, Price elaborated by saying: "There are many state legislators who serve as lobbyists, who advocate.... I have used Ralph in the city for legislative matters.... [Arza] is just there to lobby on our behalf through the legislative process." What city is Price referring to, and with which Florida municipal jurisdictions have you officially registered as a lobbyist?
2. On the tape, Price says you asked him to be paid $50,000. Is that true? What were you expected to accomplish to earn that money?
3. On the tape, Price says you'll be paid in full once "the zoning's delivered to us," meaning Shoma Development Corp. What is the zoning in question and how would you deliver it to Shoma Development?
4. Price recently told New Times that you met with Masoud Shojaee to discuss a contract for your services. What was discussed at that meeting and what services did you offer?
5. Have you ever received any compensation from Shoma Development or any of its in-house or outside representatives?
6. On your most recent financial disclosure form, filed July 8, 2004, you list as income $10,000 from the law firm of Akerman Senterfitt. What did you do to earn that money?
7. Also on your most recent financial disclosure form, you list as income $33,500 from the Arza Consulting Group. What is the Arza Consulting Group's business? What is your involvement with the company? What did you do to earn $33,500? Your wife is listed as the company's sole officer. What is her involvement with the Arza Consulting Group? Why is the company registered at your home address?
8. In November of last year you incorporated a company called Mountain Moving Strategies, also registered at your home. You are listed as the sole officer. What is the company's business and how much have you earned from it since its incorporation?
9. Has any law-enforcement or judicial authority summoned you to answer questions regarding alleged criminal activities within the City of Doral?
I have no knowledge of the conversation you are referencing. And I do not lobby local government.
I have over the past few years provided local consulting services and strategic advice to a number of organizations. I do not, however, lobby.
In providing these services I have steadfastly followed every regulatory requirement and have served my clients in an honest and ethical manner.
I have always been and continue to be committed to improving the quality of life of the residents of Miami-Dade County. Economic development, creating new jobs, and improving our public schools are the focus of my attention and my service to our community.
FOR STANLEY PRICE (FOLLOWUP)
1. We did not discuss the identity of the third person heard on the tape-recorded conversation between you and Masoud Shojaee. Could you please identify the third party?
2. Throughout the interview you spoke of state Rep. Ralph Arza in the context of lobbying. You added: "I have used Ralph in the city for legislative matters." To what city were you referring?
3. In response to my question about "winning the case," you replied: "Arza doesn't win anything. He is just there to lobby on our behalf through the legislative process." Ralph Arza is not registered as a lobbyist, as required by law, in any South Florida municipal jurisdiction. If you knew Arza was not legally registered as a lobbyist, why did you use him in the past and advocate using him on behalf of Shoma Development?
4. Can you provide an exact or approximate date of the tape-recorded conversation?
Stanley Price did not respond.
Cease and Desist
DEMAND TO CEASE AND DESIST AND FOR DELIVERY OF THE ILLEGAL TAPE RECORDING
April 4, 2005
Dear Mr. Alvarado:
In the course of a meeting held today between my partners, Stanley Price and Brian Adler, you played a portion of a tape recording that purported to contain statements made between Mr. Price and a client. Please be advised that the recording of Mr. Price was done without his knowledge and without his consent, either implicit or explicit. Under Florida law, it is illegal to record the voice of a person without their consent. The recording of Mr. Price was illegal and is punishable as a criminal act.
Demand is hereby made that you immediately CEASE AND DESIST from any use of the illegal tape, that you not quote from the tape, and that you deliver the original and all copies of the tape to Mr. Price or myself or otherwise confirm in writing that the tape and all copies have been destroyed.
Additionally, during your interview with Mr. Price this morning, Mr. Adler observed approximately halfway through the meeting that you were recording the conversation with a tape recorder that was beneath your notepad. Mr. Adler upon learning of the recorder asked you if the tape recorder was running. You said that it was and asked if you should turn it off. Mr. Adler or Mr. Price instructed you to turn it off. Obviously, you did not have authority to tape the interview and when you requested authority it was promptly denied. Thus, we request that you immediately CEASE AND DESIST from the use of the tape in any manner and that you surrender the tape to Mr. Price or myself or otherwise confirm in writing that the tape and all copies have been destroyed.