Mike Dee and Stephen Ross say Florida Speaker of the House Will Weatherford promised them their bill, which in part would have allowed an election on Sun Life Stadium upgrades to go forward, would be heard and voted on during the last legislative session.
It wasn't. Weatherford closed the session without picking up the bill.
But Weatherford denies he ever promised to let the bill be heard as the Dolphins CEO and the Dolphins owner are contending.
“At no point during the process were any promises made to hear the Dolphins Stadium bill on the House floor. It's no coincidence that we haven't heard about this so-called commitment until after the bill died," Weatherford said in a statement to The Miami Herald.
So stalemate, right? He said. She said. Right?
Dee said other people heard Weatherford make the statements the Dolphins contend he said. And I found one of those people on Thursday.
"I was in the room with Mike Dee and Steve Ross and did hear what they heard," South Florida Super Bowl bid committee chairman Rodney Barreto said. "And yes, I'm disappointed. I'm disappointed that the people of Dade County were not given the opportunity to vote and that's a huge disappointment.
"This is a democratic process and [the legislators] were approving nothing more than allowing the people to vote. And I think that's lost in all this finger pointing, that we had an election going on and 40,000 people voted already and they should have had the opportunity to finish that vote."
Sources close to the discussions between the Dolphins and Weatherford say other people also heard Weatherford tell the Dolphins the bill would be heard. One of those persons, according to a source, is Turnberry Associates Principal Jeffrey Soffer.
Soffer, whose company owns portions of the Fountainbleau Hotel and Aventura Mall, was present when Weatherford and the Dolphins spoke on at least one occasion.
Messages left for Soffer at Turnberry Associates have not been returned.