WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - According to a report issued by Palm Beach County's Inspector General, Riviera Beach's city council crossed an ethical line in a garbage hauling deal.
In a report , the Palm Beach County Inspector General says the City of Riviera Beach "failed to follow city procurement rules" and their "request for monetary donations deemed 'community benefits'...gave the appearance that the contract award was based on the amount of community benefits obtained..."
The city asked for and got Waste Management Incorporated to give $90,000 in donations to community organizations in Riviera Beach as part of a trash hauling deal worth millions.
The Contact 5 Investigators discovered this clause in the city's recently renewed garbage hauling contract with Waste Management Inc. in February. The investigators brought their findings to the IG asking them whether this type of clause was common and if it was ethical. The IG told WPTV they were looking into the contract and would investigate if necessary.
Six months later, the IG is now saying the city did not follow it's own procurement process while looking for vendors for their waste management services. The report also says donations gave the appearance that Waste Management got the contract based on donations.
The clause detailing how the city would accept money for community programs in the city through a "community benefits" program, "gave the appearance that the offer of community benefits by bidders would be a basis for the award of the contract," the IG report says.
Investigative Producer Lynn Walsh contributed to this story.