Crawford responds to “Pay to Play” ordinance lawsuit

(Photo Supplied/City of Fort Wayne)

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WOWO): A Fort Wayne City Councilman and Mayoral candidate is speaking out against a lawsuit filed over a law he supported.

Dr. John Crawford held a press conference at the Allen County GOP headquarters Wednesday morning to react to a lawsuit filed by Witwer Construction over the city’s so-called Pay-to-Play law, which prohibits vendors from bidding on city contracts if they donated more than $2,000 a year to a city office candidate’s election campaign.

The construction firm argued the law violates the Indiana Home Rule Act, while Crawford says it’ll pass “legal muster” and says it is focused on restoring citizens’ faith that city government contracting “is not geared to insiders and crony capitalism.”

“The city can be sued for any new controversial ordinance,” Crawford added. “Just because you’re sued, doesn’t mean you’ll lose. City Council passed the first smoking ordinance for restaurants in 1996; we were sued in federal court, state court and local court. Attorneys for the litigants all said we were wrong and that the ordinance was illegal. But our ordinance was upheld at all levels and we won all the lawsuits. Because of fighting to do something that was right and later proved as legal, about 50 people a year did not die after that of secondhand smoke effects of heart attack and cancer.”

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