The Buzz

One-time Sanders rival picks up Jaco lobbying contract

Updated: 2014-02-03T21:02:11Z

By DAVE HELLING

Jackson County legislators awarded longtime Democratic lawyer and operative Phil LeVota a $12,500 lobbying contract Monday, Mike Hendricks tells the Buzz.

Paul LeVota is a state senator in Missouri.

The LeVotas have occasionally sparred with Jackson County Executive Mike Sanders.

Here’s a story from 8 years ago:

“In 2006, for instance, (Sanders) asked the county Democratic Party chairman at the time, Phil LeVota, to endorse his bid for county executive. LeVota refused, citing the need for someone in that position to remain impartial through the primary.

“Trouble was, LeVota also happened to work for Sanders as an assistant in the prosecutor's office. Shortly after he rebuffed the boss’s request, controversy arose over LeVota making political phone calls while on duty and giving a TV interview in a courthouse corridor about McCaskill's run for the U.S. Senate.

“Sanders called for an inquiry, and LeVota resigned his job.

“Since then, they have patched things up, and LeVota thinks the Sanders of today is far more mature.

“ ‘He maybe doesn't take things as personal as he used to,’ LeVota said, ‘and maybe doesn't have as thin a skin and is not as vindictive as he used to be.’ ”

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