For those following the lawsuit filed by auto dealer Norman Braman that targets the financing of the ballpark and other Miami projects, you’ll have to wait another day for the trial to start. Miami-Dade Circuit Court Judge Jeri Beth Cohen delayed the trial’s start until Thursday afternoon – rather than Wednesday morning – to accommodate schedules.
For those keeping score, Cohen also made some rulings Monday that favor the defendants in the case -- the Marlins, Miami-Dade County and the city of Miami. She upheld rulings by original judge Pedro Echarte Jr. – who recused himself from the case last month – that prevent the Marlins from having to open their financial books and that Braman doesn’t have standing to challenge whether the city properly advertised the meeting in which city commissioners approved the concept of funding $3 billion of city projects.
Cohen also ruled Braman doesn't have standing to challenge the use of Community Redevelopment Agency dollars -- meant to improve areas designated as "slum and blight" -- to fund projects including a traffic tunnel to the Port of Miami and museums under the city-county plan to fund $3 billion worth of Miami projects. However, Braman will be allowed to argue that the concept should be put to a public referendum.
And among the arguments remaining in the case are whether the county can change the form of repayment of the bonds used to fund construction of the performing arts center and move the $50 million in general obligation bond dollars voters approved in 2004 to renovate the Orange Bowl to the ballpark project.
More on Thursday….