Former Mayor Mark Stodola returns to private law practice | Arkansas Blog

Monday, April 15, 2019

Former Mayor Mark Stodola returns to private law practice

Posted By on Mon, Apr 15, 2019 at 12:02 PM

click to enlarge MARK STODOLA
Mark Stodola, who ended a 12-year run as Little Rock mayor last year, has returned to private law practice with the Barber Law Firm.

The firm's website says:

Mark Stodola concentrates his practice in the areas of government relations, business and regulatory transactions, and real estate. He is a member of the firm's Business and Corporate Law Practice Group and Government Relations and Administrative Law Practice Group. He has served as general counsel to the Little Rock Airport Commission and represented various cities and counties throughout the state. He has provided government relations services to state and national trade organizations and has assisted clients on a variety of legal and regulatory issues, particularly in the technology, telecommunications, transportation, medical and entertainment sectors.
I've sent Stodola an e-mail asking him if his government relations work will include lobbying or other business with the city or city-related agencies. He's been an attorney for the Airport Commission in the past.

UPDATE: He was registered as a lobbyist during the recent legislative session for the Arkansas Municipal League and the Motion Picture Association of America.

UPDATE II: His response to my note and the question below about his campaign carryover fund.
Not doing any work currently for the City— if something comes up, I would probably submit my qualifications and those of the firm. May look to assist other cities in the state.

I have given carryover money so far to Recovery 2005, a substance abuse treatment clinic and to CALS for the recent Bobby Roberts tribute. Also, for what it’s worth, I have also made a substantial personal contribution to Benny Johnson’s group. [Stop the Violence] I was not sure he has a qualified 501(c) 3. I have identified others that are under consideration..... more have identified me! :-)
I've also asked if he's made a decision on spending the more than $78,000 he's retained in campaign contribution carryover from an unopposed race for mayor. City ordinance required that he refund that money or give it to charity or other specified uses within 30 days of the end of his campaign in 2014. But he contended that changes in state ethics law overrode the city ordinance and allowed him to hang onto the money. He's no longer in office and no longer a candidate. So distribution of the money to a public treasury or charity seems in order. He reported still having the carryover in a filing Jan. 31.

Stodola left office with a hefty $173,000 city payment in unused vacation pay plus a hefty increase in his retirement benefit.

Which is a reminder that, among many items on new Mayor Frank Scott Jr.'s busy agenda is clearing up the law on mayoral pay and benefits, beginning with an end to accrued leave time and clarity on how the pension will work in the future.

Maybe we should think about "revolving-door" legislation about city officials heading to the lobby, just as legislators have.

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