June 12, 2019 •

Judge Blocks Fort Wayne Pay-to-Play Rule Enforcement

Fort Wayne, Indiana City Hall

Allen Superior Court Judge Jennifer DeGroote blocked the city of Fort Wayne from enforcing a pay-to-play ordinance. The ordinance restricts how much money the owners of companies could give elected officials and still bid on city contracts. Under the ordinance […]

Allen Superior Court Judge Jennifer DeGroote blocked the city of Fort Wayne from enforcing a pay-to-play ordinance.

The ordinance restricts how much money the owners of companies could give elected officials and still bid on city contracts.

Under the ordinance companies are forbidden from bidding on a city contract if any owner, partner, or principal who owns more than 10% of the company gave more than $2,000 to the political campaign of a person with the responsibility of awarding contracts.

Judge DeGroote’s ruling stated the ordinance was superseded by state law, specifically the Home Rule Act.

The Home Rule Act grants municipalities the ability to self-govern in areas not covered by the state.

Under state law, elections are the domain of the Indiana Election Commission.

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May 24, 2019 •

Fort Wayne Pay to Play Ordinance Challenged in Court

Fort Wayne, Indiana City Hall

Allen Superior Court Judge Jennifer DeGroote heard arguments on Wednesday in a case focused on a 2018 Fort Wayne City Council ordinance. The ordinance limits financial contributions of contractors and their family members to political campaigns in Fort Wayne. The […]

Allen Superior Court Judge Jennifer DeGroote heard arguments on Wednesday in a case focused on a 2018 Fort Wayne City Council ordinance.

The ordinance limits financial contributions of contractors and their family members to political campaigns in Fort Wayne.

The measure prohibits business entities from bidding on city contracts if any officer, partner, or principal with more than 10% ownership has donated more than $2,000 to a campaign of someone with ultimate responsibility for awarding city contracts.

Kyle and Kimberly Suzanne Witwer filed the suit in April challenging the ordinance and requesting a judge block it’s implementation.

While no ruling was made on Wednesday, both sides must submit proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law by Friday.

There could be a potential ruling next week.

The main issue being considered at this time is whether state contribution laws make this ordinance unnecessary.

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