Companies that are in trouble with the law will have a harder time doing business with the City of Miami Beach.
Commissioners on Wednesday gave final approval to new rules that allow the city to ban contractors from getting any municipal work. The city calls the process disbarment.
A debarment committee, appointed by the city commission, can now ban a company that commits any offense indicating a lack of business integrity or business honesty that seriously and directly affects the present responsibility of a City contractor or subcontractor, according to the ordinance. The city can also debar any contractors who admit to breaking the law in exchange for immunity by prosecutors.
The tougher rules were passed in light of an ongoing corruption probe in which former Purchasing Director Gus Lopez was arrested for getting kickbacks from contractors, law enforcement officials say. He has pleaded not guilty.
Before the recent changes, the city could only prohibit companies from doing city work if company officials are convicted of a crime, or lose a civil judgment related to criminal accusations.