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Phoenix Council Members Ask For ‘Do Over’ Vote On Lobbying Contract

(Photo by Christina Estes - KJZZ)
Two Phoenix City Council members change their votes to award a lobbying contract to a law firm with ties to former Gov. Jan Brewer.

A "do over" vote leads to a new deal between the city of Phoenix and a law firm. During Wednesday’s council meeting, leaders approved a lobbying contract worth more than $100,000 after two council members who originally voted no changed their minds.

By changing their votes from "no" to "yes," Councilman Michael Nowakowski and Councilwoman Laura Pastor helped seal the deal with Ballard Spahr. Both councilmembers declined KJZZ’s request to explain their reversal. 

When the contract originally came up for renewal last month, Nowakowski cited former Gov. Jan Brewer’s support of SB 1070, Arizona’s controversial immigration law, as the reason for his "no" vote. Brewer works as a consultant for the law firm.

Several days after the original vote, Pastor and Nowakowski requested a revote and were the only members to change their votes. The one-year deal calls for Ballard Spahr to serve as a lobbyist at the state Legislature on criminal justice and public-safety issues. 

Council members who opposed the contract in both the original vote and the revote include Sal DiCiccio, Jim Waring and Deb Stark. Vice Mayor Kate Gallego opposed the contract in the original vote and was absent during the revote.

As a senior field correspondent, Christina Estes focuses on stories that impact our economy, your wallet and public policy.