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
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Weitzer claims Moss's negligence delayed the building's opening by months — and led the bank to take over the building this past November. "The whole firm is incompetent," he says.
Moss acknowledges his crews had problems with water leaks, but he disputes Weitzer's claims that his construction was to blame for the project's failure. He says both parties agreed on an October completion date and that "every allegation by Mr. Weitzer is demonstrably false."
Regardless, there is no mention of construction controversies or FEC fines in Miami-Dade County Manager George Burgess's March 23 recommendation that the commission appoint Hunt/Moss as the Marlins stadium's construction manager. Nor was there much discussion of these issues before the 10 to 3 vote.
Indeed, Joe Martinez says that before his flip-flop, no one from the county informed him about Moss's past violations. The commissioner also says he had no idea that Moss's top executives sent thousands of dollars into his campaign coffers last spring.
According to disclosure reports, in March 2008, Martinez received $500 checks from both Chad and Scott Moss — Bob's sons and vice presidents at Moss & Associates. He also garnered $500 each from Ron Dunn, the company's executive vice president, and Bruce Moldow, the firm's chief legal counsel. Records show Martinez is the only county commissioner to take money from Moss execs last year.
Moldow, furthermore, was among the Centex-Rooney employees cited by the FEC in 2003. Chad Moss says he has never met Joe Martinez. "Simply put, a friend of mine asked me to donate," he says, adding he probably passed that recommendation on to his brother, Scott. "I'm sure [Martinez] doesn't even know who my brother and I are."
Chad Moss disputes the idea that his donations might have influenced Martinez to vote for the Hunt/Moss contract. "I doubt a thousand bucks would buy you much." His father, Bob, adds, "I don't know Martinez personally."
Indeed, despite all the acrimony, Martinez supports Hunt/Moss — which was picked by the Marlins without the normal competition required under county guidelines. "I may question the administration about why this even needs to be a joint venture, but it wouldn't change my vote," he says.