Broward News

[UPDATED] Second Bid for Pier Restaurant in Deerfield Brings More Ethical Snags

In about 90 ten minutes, the Deerfield Beach City Manager's Office will have a meeting in the second-floor conference room of City Floor to review a new batch of bids among restaurateurs who would fill a precious piece of real estate at the end of the city's pier.

Last month, city commissioners were prepared to name JB's on the Beach as the bid's winner, until it was discovered that JB's failed to disclose conflicts of interest -- specifically, its having donated to Peggy Noland's victorious 2009 mayoral campaign. That was a breach of the city's new ethics rules, which should have barred JB's from the next open bid. After all, the city's own open bid guidelines say that an entity that fails to make a full disclosure of conflicts faces "removal from the city bidding list and prohibition from engaging in any business with the city." Or at least, that's the way activist Caryl Berner read it to us -- the Juice's own records request is pending.

So why is JB's being allowed to participate in round two of the bid? I've emailed that question to the city and hope to hear back this afternoon.

UPDATE: Just got off the phone with City Attorney Andy Maurodis. Working from the same document, he stresses this language:

No contract will be awarded to a Proposer who has City elected officials, officers or employees affiliated with it...
Key word: "affiliated." By Maurodis' reckoning, neither a campaign contribution nor Noland's former employ with JB's is sufficient enough affiliation to disqualify JB's.

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Thomas Francis