Minority Road Block

Historic deal between blacks and Marlins could be derailed

Less than a week after announcing a historic deal that would make the black community partners in a new stadium for the Marlins, County Attorney Robert Cuevas informed the County Commission the deal may be against county policy and discriminatory.

The county ended its practice of awarding contracts based on race, ethnicity or gender about a decade ago, which is exactly the practice the new deal touted, Cuevas told the commission Monday.

Critical votes on the stadium are scheduled for Thursday and next Monday, but Marlins President David Sampson told the Miami Herald the deal is not in jeopardy and the votes won't be postponed.

Marlins and NAACP execs scrambled Monday to find a way around the roadblock.

Meanwhile, Cuevas refused to sign off on any deal in its current format. Without Cuevas approval, the $639 million deal is effectively dead.

"He said he will not sign off on any documents dealing with major league baseball," Commissioner Carlos Gimenez told the Herald.

The Marlins had promised 15 percent of the construction business would go to black-owned businesses and another 15 percent of the operation expenses would be funneled back into black businesses. The deal was touted as a watershed moment - one that could save the impoverished area around the new proposed stadium and keep the Marlins in town.

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