According to state corporation records, Barnsdale Associates is a fictitious named registered in 1987 by "Angelo Villani et al". I know from real estate searches that Barnsdale was the developer of several Bethlehem properties,and that Brong at least was a partner.
Section 1103(a) of the Ethics Act states, "No public official or public employee shall engage in conduct that constitutes a conflict of interest." The Act defines "conflict of interest" as the "[u]se by a public official or public employee of the authority of his office or employment or any confidential information received through his holding public office or employment for the private pecuniary benefit of himself, a member of his immediate family or a business with which he or a member of his immediate family is associated."
Section 1103(f) of the Ethics Act states, "No public official or public employee or his spouse or child or any business in which the person or his spouse or child is associated shall enter into any contract valued at $500 or more with the governmental body with which the public official or public employee is associated or any subcontract valued at $500 or more with any person who has been awarded a contract with the governmental body with which the public official or public employee is associated, unless the contract has been awarded through an open and public process, including prior public notice and subsequent public disclosure of all proposals considered and contracts awarded. In such a case, the public official or public employee shall not have any supervisory or overall responsibility for the implementation or administration of the contract. Any contract or subcontract made in violation of this subsection shall be voidable by a court of competent jurisdiction if the suit is commenced within 90 days of the making of the contract or subcontract."
Updated 1:15 pm: Brong Unaware of City Involvement
Business Administrator David Brong has responded to a request to explain his involvement. He tells me that he is one of six owners in Barnsdale Associates, which was started by his father-in-law in the '80s. He has no involvement in their day-to-day business, which consist at this time of the operation of an old quarry once owned by Bethlehem Steel. That is their sole remaining asset.
Brong reports that, unknown to him, someone in the City contacted Barnsdale earlier this month as a dumping site for clean fill. The City just received its first invoice, and that is how the problem was discovered. He denies any involvement in soliciting or procuring City business.
Mayor Donchez is double-checking Brong's statements with the department that entered into a relationship with Barnsdale. "I want to avoid even the appearance of impropriety," noted Donchez, who said he found initial reports "very troubling."
John Tallarico, Chair off the Bethlehem Authority's Board, is also reputedly an owner in Barnsdale Associates. Tallarico and Brong are both related to former Mayor John Callahan.