"You asked if Elissa is representing Ellman," Rose wrote to Alonzo. "No."

Alonzo came back at Rose.

"I know she's not representing Ellman," she wrote. "Sounds like that would make her an attorney. I wonder if you could confirm whether she is working for Ellman in any capacity, such as a consultant?"

Rose responded that he meant "representation" in a broader sense. Then, he repeated, "She is not representing Ellman."

Smelling a rat, Alonzo kept pushing. Had she done work for him recently? In past weeks? In the past year? Ever? At that point, the rapid back-and-forth conversation stopped with silence on Rose's end.

Alonzo wrote back four hours later, wondering what was up.

"Believe it or not, not at the top of my list of things to do right now for reasons I have already stated and because I have a few other things going," Rose responded. "Am driving now . . . I will respond shortly, again, wasting more time on your bad source."

Alonzo said thanks and waited.

And then she got this:

"Do you actually believe I or someone with Ellman would hire [Mullany] in order to influence something in the city of Phoenix? That would be idiotic."

Interestingly, Rose never actually answered the questions — and the e-mail trail shows more attempts on Alonzo's part. Rose kept dodging. He simply refused to be pinned down on the issue of whether Mullany had worked for Ellman in the past.

Two weeks ago, Rose quit his job flacking for Gordon on this issue. He said he had a conflict, although he wouldn't tell me what it is.

And last week, Alonzo discovered an e-mail buried in a stack of other city records, confirming that Mullany did, in fact, work for Ellman. The document suggested it was a six-month contract that ended in November 2009 — and that Gordon was about to admit as much in a statement his team was crafting a few weeks ago. But as best I can tell, they never came clean.

Even faced with that evidence, no one at City Hall has been forthcoming about anything. Gordon's new spokesman for this issue, Leibowitz, originally told Alonzo that she would have to put any questions in writing. When she did write them down, they sat unanswered for more than two weeks.

I called Leibowitz Friday to ask when he was going to answer those questions. First he claimed that he had done so already. Then he admitted that everyone had been horrifically busy — SB 1070, blah, blah, blah.

I asked him flat-out about Mullany's clients. He said he didn't know who they are. Okay. Well, then, how about asking the mayor? Would the mayor release his girlfriend's client list — or at least a list of those clients who do business at City Hall?

"I don't believe the mayor thinks it's his business to release anyone's client list," Leibowitz told me. He suggested I call Mullany.

I did. Her cell phone went straight to voice mail.

Records show that Mullany is not a registered lobbyist with the city of Phoenix. And, because she isn't married to Gordon, she isn't required to reveal her business interests on his financial-disclosure form.

But it's downright disingenuous for the mayor to pretend that this is none of our business. Mullany had been in the mayor's suite so frequently that she basically had an office there. We deserve to know who she's shilling for.

These days, I know, the mayor is devoting his energies to blocking the poisonous Senate Bill 1070, which Governor Jan Brewer recently signed into law and which will force police departments across the state to become as obsessed with illegal immigration as Sheriff Joe Arpaio. Gordon is right to fight that, and I'm glad to see him using his bully pulpit for good.

But I can't help wondering whether things might have turned out a little differently if Gordon had been more focused on this issue before Brewer lit the powder keg that's finally getting Washington's attention. Neither he nor de facto police chief Jack Harris showed up at the Legislature to lobby against the bill. And, two years ago, when his own back was against the political wall, Gordon agreed to gut a controversial order that banned Phoenix cops from asking about immigration status in many cases.

Gordon also formed a political action committee just after his re-election in November 2007, hoping to "educate Congress on the needs in Phoenix." That committee hauled in an impressive $375,561.

But Gordon used pitifully little of his capital to win friends in Congress — friends who might come in handy now. By my calculations, his committee has spent less than one-third of its collections on donations to congressmen and political parties. The committee actually gave more to Mullany's business in fees than to all members of Congress combined — and, for that reason, its operating expenses dwarf its contributions by a ratio of more than 2 to 1.

That's a wasted opportunity.

Even beyond that, I don't care how busy the mayor is. And I don't buy this crap about how no one knows Mullany's client list except Mullany: Obviously, Gordon had to know she was working for Veolia to recuse himself from the vote. I'm told that she's turned over her list to the City Attorney's Office to prevent just such possible conflicts of interests.

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9 comments
Mae
Mae

Thanks to Sarah for doing her job as a reporter. Many folks have no clue that Elissa Mullany is STILL legally married. Interesting. She just filed for divorce a few weeks ago. How can a married woman have a boyfriend and live in her husband's house? I find the behavior of both parties tawdry and a lack of character and integrity. Several parties have been hurt and constantly lied to. They BOTH should have been responsible and mature from day one and BOTH gotten their divorces before embarrassing their spouses and children. Not doubt this girl has reaped the benefits of Phil's bank accounts. Maybe y'all should ask for your contributions back! I don't think anyone wants to support THIS.....?

Dave Brookhouser
Dave Brookhouser

not only is this OUR business ... shame on all the other local media outlets for not covering/investigating this mess!!

source
source

Gordon should resign. Jack Harris probably obtained and remains police chief in part because he has the dirt on Gordon. Stay on this story.

IvanT
IvanT

Gordon and his staff don't need to play dumb; they are.

jesterjackson
jesterjackson

Phil is like a cockroach when the light gets turned on. He might as well tell the truth now or his career in politics and the only reason it seems Mullany is with him is OVER. We don't need anymore scumbag retards in office. If he can't handle this issue with integrity and honesty then he isn't fit for public office. And it is an issue.

Silly Sarah
Silly Sarah

You've been on this how long now? What have you got?

Some say you're a good writer but I disagree. Gordon is not the only person who helped a pretty girls career. Think about it. What's that old saying? People who live in glass houses?

phil
phil

Phil Gordon should be drawn & quartered! At the least, run out of town on a rail! We tried to tell the public over a year ago that they were being shafted by Gordon, but they refused to listen and called us Nazis.Guess we now know who uses the nazi, criminal tactics now!Gordon is a liar and fraud! Wake up Phoenix, throw the bum out!

ScottD
ScottD

I want to know where my tax money is going! This Mayor is a joke, trying to use SB1070 to hide behind.

RIGHT ON MS FENSKE
RIGHT ON MS FENSKE

GOOD JOB !KEEP GOING. THIS IS WHAT THE PRESS IS SUPPOSED TO BE ABOUT !

Keep going and show how crooked this stuff is and the end of trail leads to the morass the City is in and will be in due to CORRUPTION.

Who is going to invest in a City run like a THIRD WORLD DICTATORSHIP WHERE PAY TO PLAY IS THE ORDER OF THE DAY.

 
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