[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of Englewood as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Article I Pay-to-Play
[Adopted 11-20-2007 by Ord. No. 07-31]
Any other provision of law to the contrary notwithstanding, the City and any of its purchasing agents or agencies, its statutory boards and its independent authorities, as the case may be, shall not enter into an agreement or otherwise contract on a no-bid basis to procure services from any professional business entity, if that entity has solicited or made a contribution of money, or pledged a contribution, including in-kind contributions in excess of the thresholds set forth in Subsection D of this section, to a campaign committee of any City candidate or holder of a public office in the City, whether or not that officeholder has the ultimate responsibility for the award of the contract, or to any City or Bergen County party committee, or to any political action committee (PAC) that is organized for the primary purpose of promoting or supporting City candidates or City officeholders, including any state party or legislative leadership committee, if such contribution or pledge is made within two calendar years immediately preceding the date of the municipal decision awarding such contract or agreement on a no-bid basis.
No professional business entity or vendor who submits a proposal for, enters into negotiations for, or agrees to any contract or agreement on a no-bid basis with the City or any department or agency thereof, or its statutory boards, or its independent authorities, for the rendition of professional, banking or insurance services or any other no-bid consultation services, shall knowingly solicit or make any contribution of money or pledge a contribution, including in-kind contributions, to any City candidate or holder of a public office in the City, whether or not that officeholder has the ultimate responsibility for the award of the contract, or to any City or Bergen County party committee, or to any political action committee (PAC) that is organized for the primary purpose of promoting or supporting City candidates or City officeholders, including any state party or legislative leadership committee, between the time of first communication between that business entity and the City regarding a specific professional services agreement and the later of the termination of negotiations or the completion of the contract or agreement.
For purposes of this article, a "professional business entity" and a "vendor" seeking a public contract means an individual including the individual's spouse and any unemancipated child living in the household of such person, a firm, corporation, professional corporation, partnership, limited partnership, limited liability company, unincorporated association or similar organization. The definition of a "business entity" encompasses all principals and partners who own 10% or more of the equity in the business entity and any officers employed by the entity, as well as any subsidiaries directly controlled by the business entity.
Any individual meeting the definition of "professional business entity" or "vendor" under this section may annually contribute a maximum of $300 each for any purpose to any candidate, for Mayor or governing body, or $300 to the City of Englewood party committee, or $500 to the Bergen County party committee or to a PAC or candidate committee referenced in this article, without violating Subsection A of this section. However, any group of individuals meeting the definition of "professional business entity" or "vendor" under this section, including such principals, partners and officers of the entity or vendor in the aggregate, may not annually contribute for any purpose in excess of $2,500 to all City of Englewood candidates and officeholders with ultimate responsibility for the award of the contract and all City of Englewood or Bergen County political parties, candidate committees, and PAC's referenced in this article combined, without violating Subsection A of this section. The intentional evasion of pay-to-play through indirect means including the practice of "wheeling" as it is commonly known is expressly prohibited. All professional business or vendor entities engaged in such practice shall be disqualified.
For purposes of this section, the office that is considered to have ultimate responsibility for the award of the contract shall be:
No contribution of money or any other thing of value, including in-kind contributions, made by a professional business entity to any City candidate for Mayor or Council, or municipal or county party committee or PAC that is organized for the primary purpose of promoting or supporting City candidates or City officeholders, including any state party or legislative leadership committee, shall be deemed a violation of this section, nor shall an agreement for property, goods or services, of any kind whatsoever be disqualified thereby, if that contribution was made by the professional business entity prior to the effective date of this article.
Prior to awarding any contract or agreement to procure services with any professional business entity, including banking or insurance coverage services, the City of Englewood or any of its purchasing agents or agencies, as the case may be, shall receive a sworn statement from the professional business entity made under penalty of perjury that the professional business entity has not made a contribution in violation of § 19-1 of this article.
The professional business entity shall have a continuing duty to report any violations of this article that may occur during the negotiation or duration of a contract. The certification required under this section shall be made prior to entry into the contract or agreement with the City and shall be in addition to any other certifications that may be required by any other provision of law.
A professional business entity or City candidate or officeholder or municipal county party committee or PAC that is organized for the primary purpose of promoting or supporting City candidates or City officeholders may cure a violation of § 19-1 if, within 30 days after the general election, the professional business entity notifies the City Council in writing and seeks and receives reimbursement of a contribution from the City candidate or municipal or county political party or PAC or state party or legislative leadership committee.
All City professional service agreements shall provide that it shall be a breach of the terms of the government contract for a professional business entity to violate § 19-1 or to knowingly conceal or misrepresent contributions given or received, or to make or solicit contributions through intermediaries for the purpose of concealing or misrepresenting the source of the contribution.
Any professional business entity which or who knowingly fails to reveal a contribution made in violation of this article, or who knowingly makes or solicits contributions through intermediaries for the purpose of concealing or misrepresenting the source of the contribution shall be disqualified from eligibility for future City contracts for a period of four calendar years from the date of the violation.