Proposed ordinance would ban South Bend city workers from taking jobs with companies they worked with

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By: Krystal Vivian kvivian@953mnc.com

(Spencer Marsh/95.3 MNC)

The South Bend Common Council will consider a measure Monday night, Dec. 14, that would ban city workers from taking jobs with certain employers for up to a year after they stop working for South Bend.

Specifically, the ordinance proposed by outgoing Henry Davis Jr. would prohibit city employees from taking a job with or compensation from a business or organization that they administered or negotiated a contract with on behalf of the city of South Bend. The so-called “revolving door” policy would be in effect for up to a year after the employee stopped working for South Bend unless an ethics committee — which would need to be established — gave its approval.

The ordinance would apply to hired employees, appointees and elected officials.

“Currently, taxpayers have no protection against employees who administer or negotiate business deals that could benefit them personally after they stop working for the city,” Davis said, pointing to similar laws in cities such as Chicago and in the state of Indiana.

Council President Tim Scott told the South Bend Tribune that he’s dubious of the proposal and believes it could prevent the city from recruiting the best talent and open the city up to lawsuits.

“Being in the business world myself … trying to limit employment doesn’t hold up in court. It typically ends up making a bunch of lawyers rich,” he told the Tribune.

The measure will be considered during the Common Council’s regular meeting, scheduled for 7 p.m. Monday on the fourth floor of the County-City Building, 227 W. Jefferson Boulevard, South Bend.