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UPDATED Royal Caribbean calls missing Miami-Dade County lobbyist registration an 'oversight'

@PatriciaMazzei

This post has been updated twice. See both after the jump.

John Fox, Royal Caribbean Cruises' vice president for government relations, spoke recently to the chairwoman of the Miami-Dade County Commission raising concerns about a potential Major League Soccer stadium next to the cruise company's headquarters at PortMiami. (Read the story here.)

Chairwoman Rebeca Sosa recounted her meeting with Fox to the Miami Herald, saying Fox had met with her as a courtesy after Richard Fain, Royal Caribbean's CEO, met with Mayor Carlos Gimenez. Sosa is a leading skeptic of the port soccer stadium Gimenez is discussing with Beckham and his investors.

The problem: Fox isn't registered as a County Hall lobbyist.

Miami-Dade rules require company principals and employees to register if they are going to discuss items pending before the county with government officials.

On Wednesday, the Herald reached out to Fox to ask why he wasn't registered. On Thursday, Rob Zeiger, Royal Caribbean's vice president and chief communications officer, said Fox plans to register.

Fox doesn't usually lobby county officials, Zeiger said, calling the lack of registration an "oversight."

March 10 UPDATE: We followed up with Zeiger to ask if Fain also planned to register as a lobbyist, considering Miami-Dade's lobbyist ordinance specifically says company principals are considered lobbyists.

But in an email from Fox that Zeiger forwarded to the Herald, Royal Caribbean says Fain does not have to register.

"As to principals of our company identifying themselves as lobbyists, this does not appear to be the case," Fox wrote. "One of our principals simply signs a form authorizing me to lobby on behalf of the company, but unless they go to the meetings with me, they do not have to register as a lobbyist."

Except Fain did go to a meeting two weeks ago with the mayor, which, following Fox's logic, would seem to suggest that Fain should have registered. 

We emailed Zeiger on Sunday to clarify but have yet to hear back.

UPDATE #2: Zeiger said the meeting between Fain and Gimenez was requested by the mayor and held at Royal Caribbean's offices merely to share information and not for lobbying purposes.

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