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Ethics commission dismisses complaint against lobbyist

 

pbuteau@MiamiHerald.com

The Miami-Dade Commission on Ethics and Public Trust found no probable cause and dismissed a complaint that alleged a lobbyist did not register before trying to influence members of the North Miami City Council.

During the summer of 2013, Evan Ross, a paid representative of CH2M Hill, led Councilwoman Carol Keys on a site visit of property on which the company had contracted with the city for environmental clean-up. The ethics commission determined that since there was no upcoming city action on which Ross could advocate, no lobbying took place.

At the time of the site vosot, the company already had been hired by the city.

“Nothing occurred that would constitute lobbying,” said Joe Centorino, executive director of the Ethics Commission.

Centorino said there was a visit of the property, the Biscayne Landing development site, but that Keys wanted to go with Ross to see the property and not the other way around.

“Yes, that’s true,” Keys said on Friday. “I haven’t seen it in 30 years or so. There’s nothing wrong with going to see a piece of property.”

Keys said that Ross mentioned he was going on a tour of the property but did not ask her to join him.

“I asked to tag along,” she said.

Ross told the Miami Herald on Friday that the complaint had some wrong information, such as who he was with on the site and how many times he’d been there.

The complaint alleged that he also took Vice Mayor Scott Galvin on a tour as well, according to Ross.

“He hadn’t been on the site with me,” he said.

He added that he was only at the development site once, and that was when he and Keys took a tour.

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