Miami City Attorney Victoria Mendez fired off a quick email May 31 to her office’s paralegal Stephanie Schloss-Sassi declaring she had no documents pertaining to a public records request about Ultra Music Festival returning to the city-owned Bayfront Park. “As discussed, our office has no responsive docs,” Mendez wrote. “This doesn’t apply to us. :).”
However, a few days later, 26 calendar invites and emails between May 21 and 31 that show a meeting was being scheduled to discuss Ultra involving Mendez, three assistant city attorneys, her office’s legislative coordinator and Miami Deputy City Manager Joe Napoli ended up in a deleted folder of the city’s Microsoft Outlook. Two emails contained an attachment titled, “1122909.pdf Ultra contract 18.”
Mendez’s flip response and the files in the trash bin were no coincidence to Sam Dubbin, the lawyer for a coalition of downtown Miami residents who sought the emails and calendar invites, along with copies of proposed draft agreements and other documents, before the City Commission’s ultimate July 25th 3-2 vote to allow the massive three-day music event’s return to Bayfront in March 2020.