Pay-to-play issue forces city to switch bond counsel | Paterson Times

Pay-to-play issue forces city to switch bond counsel


Municipal officials on Tuesday evening switched the law firm that provides the city with attorneys specializing in the issuance of bonds following a pay-to-play controversy over the previous provider Roseland-based McManimon, Scotland, and Baumann.

City officials awarded the $33,000 bond attorney contract to Teaneck-based Decotiis, Fitzpatrick, and Cole.

The Roseland-based firm which has been doing business with the city going back more than three decades – since 1982 — was overlooked for the contract after it was unable to submit a completed political contribution disclosure form because last May it contributed $500 to mayor Jose “Joey” Torres’ campaign and another $500 to councilman Andre Sayegh’s campaign.

Professional services contract cannot be awarded to companies that made reportable contributions to elected or candidates seeking municipal office for a one-year period, according to the city’s pay-to-play ordinance.

McManimon, Scotland, and Baumann played a pivotal role in preparing documents and advising city officials on the recent $35 million bonding for road repairs. Although the firm was not awarded the contract because it made political contributions prohibited under the city’s pay-to-play ordinance, it submitted the lowest bid of $31,975.

Decotiis, Fitzpatrick, and Cole submitted a $33,175 bid. A John Hudak wanted $32,400. Edison-based law firm Kraft and Capizzi wanted $34,150. The highest price demanded was by Woodbridge-based Wilentz, Goldman & Spitzer which bid $46,325.

Council members awarded the contract to the Teaneck-based firm during their regular session on Tuesday evening.

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