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Miami bankers Sergio Pino & Rodney Barreto go to email war over Dolphin stadium deal


One-time buddies and not-so-friendly fellow bankers Sergio Pino and Rodney Barreto sure aren’t friendly any more. Barreto is backing the Miami Dolphins (endangered) bid to get tax money to build a new stadium and Pino thinks it’s a bad deal for taxpayers.

It erupted into an email battle Thursday when Pino sent out a copy of a Miami Herald anti-stadium-deal letter to the editor. Barreto fired back. A few Miami-Dade insiders were cc’d and sat back in their (stadium?) seats.

One interesting revelation: The Dolphins owners apparently are in talks to buy U.S. Century Bank.

That’s right.

The team that wants taxpayer money is about to buy a bank – a place that stores money and makes loans.

“The potential buyers of US Century Bank own the Dolphins. Bravo on a boneheaded move to send this out countywide. I hope it doesn't jeopardizes [sic] our potential bank deal,” wrote Barreto, who confirmed the email exchange but declined comment.

Pino shot back at Barreto, calling him “the lobbyist.”

Here’s the exchange (oldest to newest, with Pino’s emails in italics):

From: Sergio Pino 203
Date: Thu, 2 May 2013 14:41:29 +0000
To: Sergio Pino 203
Subject: FW: In case you didn't see the Miami Herald today, page 12A

Dear family and friends just in case you miss it below is a very well detail letter to the editor by Aberto Manrara

Please take this opportunity to get involved and inform , this is a very BAD DEAL for the taxpayers

Don’t believe what the millions of dollars in advertising IS saying, it is not true . If this deal doesn’t pass we will continue to have more super bowls as we have had in the past.

Who wants to be anywhere else but in Miami during that time of the year.

Please contact your family and friends and let them know how important it is to come out and vote against this Bad Deal , TAX DOLLARS SHOULD NEVER AGAIN BE USE FOR PRIVATE BUSSINESES


Sent: Thursday, May 02, 2013 9:31 AM
Subject: In case you didn't see the Miami Herald today, page 12A
Letters to the Editor

Don’t get tricked on Dolphins deal

If we let politicians trick us again on the taxpayer support of a sports stadium, then “fool me twice shame on me” applies. Here’s part of what we are not being told:

•  The proposed additional sales tax does not apply to hotels in Miami Beach, Surfside or Bal Harbour. It only applies to those on the “mainland” including Hialeah, Homestead and Doral. And just where do the majority of tourists stay overnight? Not on the mainland where hotels typically host business travelers, relatives of Miami residents and the like.

So it isn’t really tourists who will be paying these taxes.

•  The annual payment to the Dolphins has automatic annual 3-percent increases that must be paid whether or not the sales-tax collections have increased. Supposedly a reserve fund will be created, but what if that is empty?

Where is the shortfall going to come from? It’s coming from you and me;

•  The payment by the Dolphins to Miami-Dade County in 30 years is much, much less than it sounds when present value calculations are made. In fact, the agreement with the Dolphins implies that the value of the annual tax subsidy proposed for the Dolphins has a present value in 2013 of $112 million and the equivalent value of these funds in 2043, 30 years from now, would be $289 million. The agreement proposed by the politicians calls for a payment to the county of only $112 million in 30 years. Why did our politicians agree to give away the difference of $177 million to the Dolphins?

Tax support of private businesses doesn’t make sense. Giving tax support to billionaires makes even less sense. Don’t let politicians fool you twice.

Alberto G. Manrara, Coral Gables


From: Rodney Barreto [mailto:

Sent: Thursday, May 02, 2013 3:50 PM
To: Sergio Pino
Subject: Re: In case you didn't see the Miami Herald today, page 12A

Of course a lot of people called and were perplexed by your early email regarding the Dolphins, however your ill thought out blast email has caused quite a stir in certain circles especially in the circle where the potential buyers of US Century Bank own the Dolphins. Bravo on a boneheaded move to send this out countywide. I hope it doesn't jeopardizes our potential bank deal. 


From: Sergio Pino 203 <>
Date: Thu, 2 May 2013 20:29:04 +0000
To: Rodney Barreto <>
Cc: ">
Subject: RE: In case you didn't see the Miami Herald today, page 12A

Rodney I can’t believe I am reading this message either someone HACKED your email account or you are writing this message in your sleep or perhaps you are not that smart.

Rodney the fact that you are supporting the dolphins on their efforts to use our tax dollars to put a roof on a privately owned stadium should have nothing absolutely nothing to do with US Century Bank and the pending contract between the owners of the dolphin stadium and US Century Bank.

Rodney I respect the fact that you support that your tax Dollars be used to support a private enterprise you should Respect that I don’t.  Furthermore let me tell you I don’t care that a lot of people called you or that they were perplexed by my email, what I am surprised is that when those perplexed people called you that you didn’t take the time to tell them who I am.  You very well know that I am not a bonehead in fact you very well know that I am a ‘what you see is what you get’ kind of a guy.  This boneheaded guy will do all that I can to help defeat a very bad deal for Miami Dade County and you know why because it is the right thing to do.

As for the bank the principal who is leading the efforts to buy US Century Bank, James Tate is my personal friend and  has my full support because it is good for the bank for the shareholders and for the tax payers .  Now I was not aware that the Bank Deal was tied to the Dolphins Roof Deal…if this is the case please let us know as YOU may know something we don’t know.

From: Rodney Barreto []
Sent: Thursday, May 02, 2013 05:01 PM
To: Sergio Pino
Cc: >
Subject: Re: In case you didn't see the Miami Herald today, page 12A
First of all you're just spinning the story around which you typically do. The timing of your email was ill timed and it has nothing to do with whether you support the tax issue or not .  I'm sure if Ross and Perez see your efforts has hurting them – one might wonder that they might pull out of the deal and they could possibly pull other investors with them. That’s just business 101. In fact I've seen you act in this manner numerous times in the past.

On the subject of the stadium I have no qualms about your position on the stadium but understand the facts , the one penny increase is on tourist who visit our community. That tax can ONLY be used for tourism promotion or public facility – the same tax that built Homestead Motorsport's Facility, Sony Tennis Center, the American Airlines Arena …. and the list goes on. In fact the tax can't be used for any other public needs like feeding the homeless or fixing a bridge and so on. The moral of this story is your just missing the point.


From: Sergio Pino
Sent: Thursday, May 02, 2013 05:27 PM
To: >
Cc: Subject: Re: In case you didn't see the Miami Herald today, page 12A
Rodney I don't spin I leave that to the lobbyist
I am not sure what you mean about timing. The fact that I forwarded to my family a friends a letter that was written by Alberto Manrara, a very well respected member of the community this morning has nothing to do with the Us Century Bank deal
As for the rest of your message please don't worry about Ross and Perez. When it comes to business 101, they can teach you a lesson or two or three or four or five