Mayor Gordon May Be Remembered Most for Compromising His Ethics for the Woman He Loved

It's election night, and the crowd is exuberant inside the auditorium at Civic Space Park on Arizona State University's downtown Phoenix campus.

The celebration on August 20 is about the re-election of Councilman Michael Nowakowski and the victory of Greg Stanton, a mayoral candidate who ended the night with the most votes, securing a spot in a November showdown with runner-up Wes Gullett.

Though he has been working the crowd, Mayor Phil Gordon seems glum.

Gordon's all-business security detail keeps a watchful eye on him as he pauses briefly to shake a hand, pat a shoulder, and exchange a few words.

A reporter spots him and, with notebook in hand, weaves through the crowd to elicit the mayor's thoughts about the election results and the two men who are competing to replace him.

Gordon isn't happy to see the member of the press. He has three months left in office, and his future plans are uncertain. It's also getting circulated that his romantic relationship with political fundraiser Elissa Mullany is over.

Like ASU's downtown Phoenix campus, which he helped make a reality and where this event is taking place, Gordon's love affair with Mullany will define his two terms as mayor of America's sixth-largest city.

Mullany publicly raised eyebrows when she ascended from Gordon's political fundraiser to his well-paid girlfriend. As the romantic relationship developed, she landed consulting gigs with executives — including high-profile developers, an international transportation firm, and foreign dignitaries — who benefited from their ties to Gordon.

Gordon barely looks up at the reporter, continuing to move through the crowd, only more quickly now. He doesn't respond to her request for comment about the election, only slightly shaking his head. He grabs a few more hands and, eyes cast down, scurries through the auditorium's double doors.

In the hallway, he runs into Greg Stanton. The two shake hands as the trailing reporter pulls out a camera in an attempt to capture the moment: one man winding down his city political career and another winding his up. Gordon spots the camera and guides Stanton farther down the corridor to avoid getting photographed.

They chat for just a few seconds before Gordon leaves the building, climbs into a dark vehicle driven by one of the Phoenix police officers charged with his safety, and disappears into the night.

Gordon didn't always duck the media.

During his first term and in the early days of his second, he gladly allowed reporters to roam his space on the 11th floor of City Hall. He was happy to share his daily calendar with anybody in the press who requested it.

Friendly Mayor Phil became secretive Mayor Gordon in 2009, when uncomfortable questions were first raised about whether Gordon was mixing city business with his personal life. Specifically: Did the mayor use the influence of his office to get his girlfriend and her company a financial and professional edge? Did he make it possible for her to get paid by powerful companies doing business with the city?

One of the companies that employed Elissa Mullany while she was Gordon's girlfriend was Veolia Transportation, which has a five-year, more-than-$380 million contract with the city to operate its bus fleet.


Mayor Phil Gordon first professed support for Veolia Transportation to win the city's huge bus contract at a June 2009 City Council meeting. The mayor's endorsement came even before competing business proposals were on the table and during a time when his relationship with Elissa Mullany was the stuff of City Hall rumors.

Causing concern, after the mayor said he wanted the contract to go to Veolia, was that the company had hired Mullany, his then-alleged love interest, as a consultant in 2007 and still was cutting her checks as it competed for the city's business.

Though Gordon insisted that she was just a good friend, Mullany spent a lot of time at the Mayor's Office as the contract was getting decided. Sometimes wearing revealing attire, she would flirt with the mayor in front of office staff.

The truth wouldn't stay hidden for long.

Gordon tried desperately to shield himself from questions about his relationship with Mullany, about what role she played in city business he conducted. He worked hard to keep documents secret that would expose what was going on.

But information about how their personal and professional relationships were commingled leaked in 2009 from sources with ties to Gordon.

It became public that Mullany was indeed Gordon's girlfriend and had gotten paid to represent, as a consultant, companies doing business with the city — that, during his travels allegedly on behalf of the city, Gordon solicited jobs for her and tried to help her establish connections for new business ventures.

The smitten Gordon's behavior was a far cry from the image he had cultivated for himself as a folksy neighborhood-watch politician and tireless cheerleader for Phoenix.

An attorney, he'd started out representing developers who wanted to tear down historic buildings in favor of retail projects. But he reinvented himself as an advocate for historic preservation, and the philosophical change gave his political career traction.

Under his leadership, downtown Phoenix experienced major redevelopment, from the expansion of the Phoenix Convention Center to establishment of ASU's downtown campus. He has backed such projects as the downtown Sheraton Hotel and CityScape, a mixed-use development that helped breathe life into downtown.

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76 comments
Jim Kay
Jim Kay

one of veolia's top earning employees....the mayor of Phoenix. What a schmuck.

Dumoudan
Dumoudan

We need to end the Mexican occupation of the United States of America.

Chucklereader
Chucklereader

sheesh dumont, it's bad enough the articles in new times go on and on and on.now i gotta deal with all these words from you in the comment section....

Dumoudan
Dumoudan

Is this law Racist? Does it specify brown people?Are the people who agree with this law racist?Are those who want this law enforced racist?The law says nothing of little "brown" people but it explains what is illegal entry. It's not very hard to understand. Why is this law "broken"? Why can it be selectively ignored?Illegal alien includes all people who entered illegally, could be Croation, Russian, Chinese, Irish, Canadians and yes even Mexicans. No one single race or people is referenced in the law. Under Title 8 Section 1325 of the U.S. Code, "Improper Entry by Alien," any citizen of any country other than the United States who:Enters or attempts to enter the United States at any time or place other than as designated by immigration officers; or Eludes examination or inspection by immigration officers; or Attempts to enter or obtains entry to the United States by a willfully false or misleading representation or the willful concealment of a material fact; has committed a federal crime.Violations are punishable by criminal fines and imprisonment for up to six months. Repeat offenses can bring up to two years in prison. Additional civil fines may be imposed at the discretion of immigration judges, but civil fines do not negate the criminal sanctions or nature of the offense.These people cost Pheonix and surrounding cities hundreds of millions to support the education, health and welfare of these illegal immigrants. A landscape worker paid by cash (no taxes) and his wife (a stay at home mom), have been here for 16 years and had 7 children born in the US. Who do you think paid for her medical bills???

Pancho Villa
Pancho Villa

Looks like you took too many pills, take it easy on the oxicotine.

Dumoudan
Dumoudan

Two six foot fences, no barb wire on top. Place them 100 yards apart., Warning signs on the fences every 200 feet. AND LAND MINES IN BETWEEN THE FENCES. Problem solved

mikefrombisbee
mikefrombisbee

And what does this have to do with the topic? looks like obsessive behavior to me...

Dogbiter
Dogbiter

Go eff yourself. You didn't pay for shit! Who do you think cooked your food in the last reataurant you frequented? Did the dogwork jobs that you don't want to do? Paid sales tax and social security tax and got nothing back for it, Bought goods, kept the economy going (now, not so much since fools like you have driven them away)? Besides, this article is about Phil Gordon's bullshit, not illegal immigration. The subject is barely touched on so stop ranting about it here. How many effen posts have you put up saying the same damn thing... Chill redneck!

Dumoudan
Dumoudan

In the country illegally, He waorks for cash under the table. NO TAXES PAID. She's a stay at home wife. Been in the US for 16 years and had 7 children. Do you honestly think they paid their own medical bills?

jarhead001
jarhead001

If Gordon performs his job as mayor, sucessfully, who cares who he is having sex with?

mikefrombisbee
mikefrombisbee

Thinkin' with yer dick may be a biological imperative useful for propagating the species, but it is generally not an advantageous quality for elected officials. Ambitious, egotistical types with big libidos have not done as well n the age of instant information...

Paulanerisgut
Paulanerisgut

If Gordon had an ounce of honor remaining, he'd do a "Lapre" in a last ditch effort to mitigate the disgrace his whoring has brought upon all bearing the name "Gordon", and the most desirable fighter jock handle and Mexican pejorative "Gordo". He literally sold out all Phoenicians to satisfy his desires for whores. My deepest sympathys to the whore that had to endure that pig's grunting, groans, and biological emissions. No amount of money could ever buy away the disgust that is your family's.

Paulanerisgut
Paulanerisgut

...or at least that is what I take from the article comments. That, and no one really cares and the various posts about SB 1070. I know nothing of the man, or Phoenix. I live in Garmisch.

Charlotte
Charlotte

How disappointing to see such a lack of ethics and greed.

Bobby
Bobby

I know it's off topic, but I love that name Charlotte, it's classy.

Patriot
Patriot

Gordon is just another political thug, with no ethics! Anyone with ethics would not have done the crap he has! All he is really is just another Democrat that uses his power to control things and tow along a few hanger ons, with just as low a moral character as himself! What a worthless pig he is!!

Jesterjackson
Jesterjackson

Gordon is a pathetic loser. Anyone could have told him that his highly paid girlfriend was just in love with $ and not his personality.

Dumoudan
Dumoudan

All Illegal aliens should be allowed to apply for work permits but only while they are outside the United States in their home countries. This type of program (guest workers) has worked very well for many years in economically successful places such as Switzerland, Singapore to name a few. Once their work visa expires they must immediately leave the country. If the females become prgnant, they are immediately returned to their home country. commit any violation of ANY law (even "J" walking) and they are deported. If they attempt to re-enter the US illegaly, they are automatically placed on a list of permanently banned from entry into the US. Are you with us?Just enforce the Immigration Laws and treat all people who want to enter the US fairly. Don't show preference to those that entered illegally. Justice for all?

Jake
Jake

Watch and see where he lands. Maybe we will be seeing and hearing about him with Gas Can Jan, you know the only one with a set in Obama's cabinet. They covered for one another and maybe she can lend him a honey? The ILLEGAL problem of the Valley is all his baggage.

Tommy Collins
Tommy Collins

This makes absolutely no sense. How can you blame Obama for the illegal immigration issues that existed fifty years before he became president? (I don't care for, and didn't vote for, Obama, by the way)

Bobby
Bobby

He cannot be blamed for what happened during the past fifty years, it's true, but what he is guiltly of, criminally I would add, is doing his sworn duty. To repeat this for the thousandth time, existing U.S. immigration law is crystal clear. If you aid or abett, anyone that is in this country without permission, you are guilty of a crime, in other words, your'e a criminal, ACCORDING TO EXISTING UNITED STATES IMMIGRATION LAW. Now, you know Obama's activites invovling illegal immigration, and what he has openly stated, so he himself has answered the question of his blame. He, like Reagan, Bush senior, Clinton, Bush Jr. IS GUILTY OF NOT DOING HIS SWORN DUTY. Man, this stuff just isn't rocket science, and by allowing these:"leaders" to get away with breaking U.S. law is what is plunging this nation into chaos. Don't people get it??????? It truly isn't just about Illegal immigration but rather, illegal immigration is just one of many "in your face" topics that illustrates how far the elite DOESN'T CARE ABOUT WHAT AMERICAN CITIZENS ARE AFFECTED WITH.

Bobby
Bobby

I meant to write NOT, doing his sworn duty.

SCB
SCB

I disagree. Phil Gordon will be most remembered as one of the few politicians who had the balls to stand up to the hateful and vindictive Sheriff Joke.

WalterL
WalterL

He did one thing half ass

Tommy Collins
Tommy Collins

Interesting comment. On one hand the guy had the fortitude to stand up to the MCSO shurf, and on the other, he has been one of the most manipulative and dishonest mayors a city could have. Although I admired his stand against MCSO I would NEVER vote for him again. Thank goodness for term limits.

Chicagoan
Chicagoan

Nope, yer wrong. He is a Chicago pol -- therefore, by definition, he is a crook, liar, and self aggrandizing fool. No different than anyone else from Chicago (and now Phoenix/Chicago Style) politics--"citizen's be damned" I guess

 bill haight
bill haight

one thing that the WHITE telephone people that sell the HUMMANA HEALTH PROGRAM have had there phone turned off that they don't get incoming call only the BLACK AND MEXICAN operators are geting the calls the white get only the noncommison paying in calls the BLACKS AND MEXICANS WITH HELP OF THERE PORTA RICAN BOSS HAVE DONE THIS AND THE WHITES have no one to complain to there all mexican and black and thats the way they want it if you look at rating for health plans HUMMANA HAS DROP TO 3 STARS OUT OF 6 SIENSE OUR MAYOR HAS ASKED ALL THESE COMPANIES AND THE WHITE ARE JUST SCREWED AND SO IS THE COMPANIES BECAUSE THE BLACKS ARE DUMBER THAN DIRT AND THE MEXICAN DON'T SPEAK ENOUGH ENGLISH SO THE PEOPLE GET BAD INFORMATION AND THE WHITE HALF TO CLEAN THE MESS UP AND THE BOSS IS GOING TO PROTECT THE MEXICANS AND BLACKS TO PROTECT HIS JOB GREAT GOING MAYOR PHIL

Phil
Phil

your a racist prick!

Bobby
Bobby

Gordon is truly the type of individual that is the epitome of everything wrong with our political system. Less than Worthless to American citizens.

Tommy Collins
Tommy Collins

I knew that eventually we might agree on something...

Dennis
Dennis

Phil Gordon will be remembered most as an illegal alien harboring, over-spending, Janet Napolitano brown-nosing (A)ss Hole who pretty much ruined the city of Phoenix. I hope he wakes up one day gagging on his own failure. Good riddance.

Bobby
Bobby

Couldn't agree more. Brown-nosing is second nature to this ass. I gaurantee that he was the same in high school, the guy who thought he was "the life of the party", but wasn't.

Ben Dover
Ben Dover

Mayor Gordon has just had a lesson in why women are attracted to people in High Places, to further their ambitions and increased their bank account. And when all the advantages have been used up, dumps the Donor. It's called "The Gold Digger Principal?. Now she's looking for another, "Mr. Right". The Beat goes On.

Bobby
Bobby

Very astute Ben, I could not agree more. It takes some men a very short time to learn this. Others don't learn it in a lifetime.

Dumoudan
Dumoudan

Is this law Racist? Does it specify brown people?Are the people who agree with this law racist?Are those who want this law enforced racist?The law says nothing of little "brown" people but it explains what is illegal entry. It's not very hard to understand. Why is this law "broken"? Why can it be selectively ignored?Illegal alien includes all people who entered illegally, could be Croation, Russian, Chinese, Irish, Canadians and yes even Mexicans. No one single race or people is referenced in the law. Under Title 8 Section 1325 of the U.S. Code, "Improper Entry by Alien," any citizen of any country other than the United States who:Enters or attempts to enter the United States at any time or place other than as designated by immigration officers; or Eludes examination or inspection by immigration officers; or Attempts to enter or obtains entry to the United States by a willfully false or misleading representation or the willful concealment of a material fact; has committed a federal crime.Violations are punishable by criminal fines and imprisonment for up to six months. Repeat offenses can bring up to two years in prison. Additional civil fines may be imposed at the discretion of immigration judges, but civil fines do not negate the criminal sanctions or nature of the offense.Gordon could never understand this and has cost Pheonix and surrounding cities hundreds of millions to support the education, health and welfare of these illegal immigrants.

charlie_oscar
charlie_oscar

I think Shakira will remember Phil as both freakishly weird and someone she would never let baby sit or attend any QuinceaƱeras'...

Billy gates
Billy gates

I just read he will walk away with over a million dollars from political contributions from developers. This sorry ass will be remembered for influence peddling (like the veolia bus contract) and the biggest sham of light rail which caused the phoenix budget depression. Millions spent on buying up viable business property for light rail parking lots where residents park their cars all day to ride downtown on a light rail. These lots are always never over 20% full, but create a disneyland illusion with more above ground ugly steal beams, wires and visual pollution. How much $$ did gordon get out of this? Best kept secret to date on draining city budgets. I have lived here 62 years, native resident. No common sense when less money gould have been spent for street improvements and more municipal buses to transport the short time transients from back east. Az is hot, uses a simple street "grid system" that seems not to be understood by the mayor. The transportation system and developer steve elman seem to make politicians rich and "star struck" sucking them in their self serving ponzi schemes...

Bobby
Bobby

Good post, yet how many stupid ass voters, continue to empower idiots like him, that literally work against their best interests. And when it comes to draining city budgets, Americans are particularly clueless. Scum like Gordon, (we have tons of them in California) just love to raid the general fund of the cities they are entrusted to run. The ONLY WAY, to stop this theft is to make every politician sign a contract that clearly states their pay, RIGHT TO THE PENNY, and what they can and cannot do without voter approval. As things now stand, these scum have a free hand to ignite their natural criminal proclivities

billy gates
billy gates

gordon is just another self serving "create your own importance" self promoter. I would be interested how much money he siphoned off as through campaign contributions and developer kickbacks, much less his "hide the salami" and "stink finger " tactics with the ignorant opportunist girlfriend trying to play intellegent consultant, ( while being a poor credit risk and unable to manage her own finances). Seems do gooder political activisists in phoenix will continue to work behind the scenes to protect these two idiots.

Cattycat
Cattycat

Bill and Ben, please learn English grammar and spelling. After that, maybe someone will take your comments seriously.

Bobby
Bobby

Irrelevant. What's your real beef?

Bill
Bill

What gordon will remembered for is giveing Phoenix to Mexico and the Cartels to get Ilegal labor here along with drugs. And for going on the radio and saying the Sheriff is old and senielwhen hes the only one keeping phoenix safe form Ilegals .And not let us forget how with help of the police union was able to keep the officers from having the proper fire power to fight back the cartel that. Oh no this has been the worse mayor we have ever had And the ones running are Just more land stealers who don't care that the mexican are rushing in here like we have a billboard free everything screw the real people of phoenix ONE LAST WORD THIS IS OUR COUNTRY REGARDLESS OF WHAT THEY TELL IN MEXICO AND WE WILL FIGHT FOR ITOURSLEVES IF THE GOVERMENT WON'T.

Bobby
Bobby

Or in other words, Gordon should be investigated and after he is naturally found to be the criminal he is, BE SENT TO PRISON. Watch how honesty in government becomes the norm.

Ben Dover
Ben Dover

I hope Gordon's Legacy will include a stay in a local prison for his misuse of taxpayer and campaign funds and using his influence to keep his girlfriend adequately funded . The investigations are on going, and I hope some charges will ensure. I hope, but he's probably not smart enough to have learned what the two words, "GOLD DIGGER", and "SUCKER PUNCHED" means. He's definitely had both experience with his ex-girlfiend. Now that Gordons out of job, and can't influence her finiancil gains anymore, Adios, Stupido! There is other suckers waiting in line, and the Gold Diggers will accomodate them as long as the Money and Travel perks keep flowing in. And I'll bet he thought it was his dynamic personality that attracted the women, who who have figured it was really the financial perks he make happen.

Dumoudan
Dumoudan

Is this law Racist? Does it specify brown people?Are the people who agree with this law racist?Are those who want this law enforced racist?The law says nothing of little "brown" people but it explains what is illegal entry. It's not very hard to understand. Why is this law "broken"? Why can it be selectively ignored?Illegal alien includes all people who entered illegally, could be Croation, Russian, Chinese, Irish, Canadians and yes even Mexicans. No one single race or people is referenced in the law. Under Title 8 Section 1325 of the U.S. Code, "Improper Entry by Alien," any citizen of any country other than the United States who:Enters or attempts to enter the United States at any time or place other than as designated by immigration officers; or Eludes examination or inspection by immigration officers; or Attempts to enter or obtains entry to the United States by a willfully false or misleading representation or the willful concealment of a material fact; has committed a federal crime.Violations are punishable by criminal fines and imprisonment for up to six months. Repeat offenses can bring up to two years in prison. Additional civil fines may be imposed at the discretion of immigration judges, but civil fines do not negate the criminal sanctions or nature of the offense. Gordon could not compehend his.

Eric Raskin
Eric Raskin

The mayor we be remember for telling TRUMP NO. Can u believe that . What a dummy , camelback would be booming instead it's a bust

Ron
Ron

the great illegal , lawbreaking supporter...this guy is no good, and hope i never see him again....drink some more mr gordon

JD B
JD B

Oooh, Oooh I know-I know! "What is being a horse's behind?" Is that right? Did I win anything?

 
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