Miami Parking Authority used fake emails to block Mana development bid: report

Mana also alleged parking authority CEO rigged bid process in favor of his friend

Aug.August 10, 2016 02:15 PM

Developer Moishe Mana and Rolando Tapanes, Director of Planning and Development for the Miami Parking Authority

A new revelation has blown the lid off litigation between Moishe Mana, the Miami Parking Authority and a competing developer over a bid to build a mixed-use project in downtown Miami.

The authority reportedly used falsified emails to defend itself from Mana’s lawsuit, which alleged his firm had never received official notice of the agency’s bid decision.

According to the Miami Herald, Mana had filed suit against the parking authority in November after it decided to begin negotiations with Grand Station Partners, led by Oscar Rodriguez and Ricardo Vadia. The bid request was for public land at 240 North Miami Avenue, which the authority wanted redeveloped into a mixed-use project.

The city attorneys working the case had an easy defense: emails the agency purportedly sent to Mana’s attorney David Lederman on May 11, giving him final notice of the decision and one week to file a bid protest.

But in a further forensic examination of the emails, according to the Herald, the date they were sent was shown to be falsified. The revelation came to light through a legal disclosure from Assistant City Attorney Christopher Green, who conceded that the authority hadn’t sent official notice.

Following the disclosure, the parking authority’s Planning and Development Director Rolando Tapanes, who allegedly sent the emails, resigned.

It’s yet unclear how the fallout will affect this development bid. Mana’s lawsuit also alleged Art Noriego, CEO of the Miami Parking Authority, rigged the process so that his friend Rodriguez would be the winner.

Rodriguez and Vadia, the competing developers, maintain that there was no foul play. The two are also developing a luxury condo project called the Fairchild Coconut Grove, which is expected to break ground early next year. [Miami Herald] —Sean Stewart-Muniz

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