By Luke Broadwater
The Baltimore Sun
4:03 PM EDT, June 14, 2013
Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake's close friend Lisa Harris Jones and her husband, Sean Malone, made almost $150,000 last year lobbying the city on behalf of business clients, according to reports filed with Baltimore's ethics board.
The forms show Lisa Harris Jones earned $77,000 while Malone, her husband and business partner, made $71,750 lobbying at City Hall in 2012, the forms show.
While the money is significantly less than the couple makes lobbying at the state level, the city forms show the firm, Harris Jones & Malone LLC, is busy throughout the year advocating for clients' interests in Baltimore.
Harris Jones made $942,695 lobbying in Annapolis last year, while Malone took in $659,750.
The couple did not respond to a request for comment.
In Baltimore, Harris Jones was paid $17,000 to advocate for Lexington Square Partners LLC, the developers of the "Superblock" project, which won $22.1 million in tax breaks in December. She was paid $12,500 by the American Chemistry Council, which is fighting a proposed ban on Polystyrene foam products for carryout food and drink items. And she was paid $10,250 to lobby for Digicon Corp., an information technology company that this month lost a $20 million contract to a competitor.
Recently, Rawlings-Blake's friendship with Harris Jones has come under scrutiny. Wednesday, the mayor disclosed that she spent Memorial Day weekend at Harris Jones' Delaware beach house. Earlier in May, Rawlings-Blake officiated at Harris Jones’ and Malone's wedding in Las Vegas.. And, last year, Harris Jones turned up on a list of people given free tickets by the mayor’s office to 1st Mariner Arena.
Rawlings-Blake has described Harris Jones as a "lifelong friend." She has said she paid to rent the beach house and that no city business was discussed during the trip.
Lisa Harris Jones’ clients in Baltimore in 2012
Lexington Square Partners $17,000
American Chemistry Council $12,500
Digicon Corp. $10,250
Korean Retail Business Association $6,250
East Baltimore Development Inc. $6,000
Xerox State & Local Solutions $1,000
Joseph Smith & Sons $1,000
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