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Miami contractor loses $2 million job over $500 contribution

A $500 campaign contribution to a Miami Beach commissioner helped disqualify a contractor and will result in the city paying close to $300,000 extra to renovate the Jackie Gleason Theater of the Performing Arts.

The illegal contribution from Tran Construction to City Commissioner Simon Cruz's campaign marks the first time a vendor has been disqualified and temporarily barred from obtaining new business from the city under Miami Beach's toughened vendor ordinance. ...

Tran Construction was the lowest bidder for the contract to renovate the theater, at 1700 Washington Ave., and city staff deemed the company to be the best option for the $2 million job. However, in October, the company made a $500 contribution to Cruz, who was sworn into office in November.

The vendor ordinance, strengthened in 2003 as part of campaign finance reform by commissioners, specifies that a person or entity who makes a contribution to a candidate who is elected to office is disqualified from serving as a vendor to the city for 12 months following the swearing in of that elected official. -- Contractor loses $2 million job (Miami Herald)