Miami Beach

Miami Beach convention center developers swear they had no improper contact with ex-purchasing director

Representatives from the two teams in the running for Miami Beach’s $1 billion Convention Center redevelopment project have submitted affidavits swearing that they had no inappropriate contact with the city’s former procurement director, who is facing unrelated public corruption charges.

Gus Lopez has pleaded not guilty to 63 counts leveled against him in relation to his work for Miami Beach.

Miami Beach Commissioner Deede Weithorn in January had asked for all bidders involved in the convention center bid to swear that they had no inappropriate contact with Lopez or anyone affiliated with him, and that bidders didn’t engage in prohibited lobbying . She had alleged at a commission meeting that a project bidder may have had improper “contact” regarding the bid.

Only members of the two teams that are finalists for the project have submitted affidavits: Robert Wennett and Paul Diamond of the South Beach ACE team, and Roger Zampell and Art Murphy of the Portman-CMC team.

The affidavits include affirmation that no team members engaged in inappropriate contact, either.

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