Mayor Ras J. Baraka announced today that Newark has won a lawsuit that was the last obstacle preventing Newark from awarding to minority and women-owned contractors its janitorial services for City buildings.
United Services, Inc., had held the contract for all 38 municipal buildings on an emergency services basis since 2008. Before the Baraka administration, the contract had never been put out to bid and had instead been extended as an emergency measure. In order to promote Newark’s minority and women-owned businesses and to secure better quality services than those that had been provided by United, the Baraka administration put the work out to bid in September 2016, dividing the work into several contracts to encourage bids from smaller contractors.
United Services filed a lawsuit against the bidding process delaying the bids while continuing to provide 14 months of emergency contracts at $400,000 per month as they pursued their litigation. On February 2, 2018, the Hon. Thomas R. Vena, Judge of Essex County Superior Court ruled that there is no validity to the numerous claims raised by United Services as it attempted to delay or prevent the bidding process. The City is now free to continue the bidding proposed in 2016.
“We are doing everything possible to ensure that Newark minorities and women can bid and compete to provide City services. This is an important precedent-setting decision for the people of Newark and will create more jobs for city residents,” said Mayor Baraka.
“The City of Newark will not let vendors launch frivolous lawsuits to bully us into giving them contracts. It is disgraceful that United Services was able to receive another 14 months of emergency contracts by taking the City to court,” said Newark Corporation Counsel Kenyatta Stewart.
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