D.C. Lobbyists Reeling After Deadly Plane Crash

Posted August 11, 2010 at 11:31am

K Street is mourning the loss of longtime lobbyist Bill Phillips, who died in an airplane crash Monday in southwestern Alaska. Former Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) and three others also died in the incident.

Phillips, a partner at the lobbying boutique Utrecht & Phillips, had long represented clients in areas such as transportation, telecommunications, energy and natural resources, and national defense. In the 1980s, Phillips worked for Stevens as his legislative director and chief of staff.

“We are devastated by the loss of our partner and friend Bill Phillips,” a statement on the firm’s website said. “Bill was a loving father, devoted husband, and esteemed colleague. We will miss him terribly and our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of Bill, Senator Stevens and other victims of the crash. We thank our friends and colleagues for their expressions of sympathy and support.”

Phillips, 56, was on a fishing trip to Agulowak Lodge, which is owned by GCI, a communications company in the state. The former chief of staff to Stevens represented several clients in the telecom arena, including CTIA and the National Cable & Telecommunications Association.

Other victims of the crash were Dana Tindall, who was GCI’s senior vice president for legal, regulatory and governmental affairs; her 16-year-old daughter, Corey Tindall; and the pilot, Theron Smith.

Another D.C. lobbyist, Jim Morhard, is one of four survivors of the crash. The other survivors are Sean O’Keefe, the former NASA chief who is currently the top executive for EADS North America; his son, Kevin; and Phillips’ son, William Phillips Jr.

EADS North America Chairman Ralph Crosby Jr. said in a statement that it was “with a great sense of relief and gratitude that we learned that Sean, and his son, Kevin, survived the aircraft crash in Alaska.”

“We extend our deepest sympathy to the families of those less fortunate in this terrible accident,” Crosby added. “We owe a debt of gratitude for the heroic efforts of the members of the rescue crew and others who rushed to the scene.”

According to Phillips’ bio on his lobbying firm’s website, he was a guest lecturer on legislation and Congressional procedure at Georgetown University Law Center where he received his legal degree and was a friend of the Lombardi Cancer Center at Georgetown.