City ethics filings show Baltimore firm as most active lobbyists

If you're in a business that seeks to influence government policies in Baltimore, chances are you've hired the lobbying firm of Harris Jones & Malone.

Various companies have on file with the city ethics board a total of 56 forms stating that they are paying a lobbyist to represent them before the municipal government. Twenty-three of those — about 41 percent — come from Harris Jones & Malone, according to the most recent documents available. That's noticeably more than any other firm.

Led by partners Lisa Harris Jones and Sean Malone, the firm represents large companies such as McDonald's, Verizon, Baltimore Gas and Electric and the developers of the 'Superblock' project.

It has also represented companies involved in some controversial issues, including the city's former speed camera vendor, Xerox State & Local Solutions, and Digicon Corp., an IT company whose business with the city became a subject of a dispute over the municipal phone system.

Malone, a former top aide during Gov. Martin O'Malley's time as mayor, said the firm makes certain to register with the ethics board every time it talks to council members or administration officials on behalf of a client.

"My law partner, Lisa, has been lobbying in Baltimore since 1992," Malone said. "We are one of the few lobbying firms headquartered here in Baltimore. By no means are we the only lobbying firm. We are just very careful to follow the law and register for our clients."

Rawlings-Blake's former chief of staff, Peter O'Malley, is also listed on the report as a registered lobbyist in the city. O'Malley, the governor's brother, who works for the Venable law firm, advocates on behalf of Merritt Properties and East Fleet LP, the report states.

To view the entire list of city lobbyists and which companies they represent, go to baltimoresun.com.

luke.broadwater@baltsun.com

twitter.com/lukebroadwater

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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