Firm Sues in Federal Court After Violating Illinois Pay-to-Play Law - State and Federal Communications

January 22, 2019  •  

Firm Sues in Federal Court After Violating Illinois Pay-to-Play Law

A Chicago-based real estate firm is challenging Illinois pay-to-play law in federal court as unconstitutional after losing a contract when its founder made contributions to gubernatorial candidates.

Plaintiffs, The Habitat Company and its founder Daniel Levin, lost a one-year management contract for a mixed-income building after Chief Procurement Officer Ellen Daley of the Illinois Procurement Office notified the firm that Levin’s campaign contributions to gubernatorial candidates in 2018 violated the state procurement code.

In Illinois, pay-to-play law prohibits government contractors or affiliated persons from making any contribution to a political committee established to promote the candidacy of the officeholder responsible for awarding the contracts.

The complaint alleges constitutional violations of Levin’s First Amendment rights of speech and association and Fourteenth Amendment rights of equal protection and due process of law.

Plaintiffs seek a temporary restraining order and a preliminary injunction to void Daley’s decision and prevent the Illinois Housing Development Authority from entering into a property management contract with another company.

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