In June, during his early days exploring Miami as a location for his expansion Major League Soccer franchise, David Beckham toured Florida International University’s stadium with his business partner, an eager investor, Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez and Commissioner Jose “Pepe” Diaz.
With their plans firming up, Beckham, business partner Simon Fuller and Miami-based billionaire investor Marcelo Claure met again with Gimenez in November, this time over dinner at Claure’s house.
That presents a potential problem: At no point did Beckham, Fuller or Claure register as lobbyists.
The Miami-Dade’s ethics commission is examining whether Beckham, his investors or their representatives broke any rules requiring lobbyists to register before making a pitch to public officials. A violation of the registration requirement can result in a fine or a temporary ban from County Hall, though that penalty is unusual.
One of the men who is registered to lobby on Beckham’s behalf, attorney Neisen Kasdin, said Friday neither the retired English soccer star nor his investors had to register because they have only participated in “meet and greets” where no specific proposal before county government was discussed.
The lower-level Beckham group members trying to negotiate a soccer stadium deal have filed lobbyist registrations, Kasdin said.
A county ordinance requires lobbyists — including a company’s “principals” — to register within five days of engaging in lobbying or being retained as a lobbyist.
This post has been updated with the latest version of the story, which was rewritten to include Kasdin's comments.