County prosecutor. Congressman. Lobbyist.
This is the latest title that retired U.S. Rep. Steve LaTourette can put on his resume.
LaTourette announced this week that he will head up a new government relations and lobbying group in Washington, D.C., for McDonald Hopkins, a business advisory and advocacy law firm based in Cleveland. He will team up with his wife, Jennifer, who has been a prominent lobbyist for the past decade.
Because of ethics rules, LaTourette will be prohibited from doing any lobbying for one year. He will instead concentrate on business development and consulting for the firm, while Jennifer will handle the lobbying.
LaTourette said he’s excited about this newest phase in his career, which has included 18 years in Congress and six years as Lake County prosecutor.
“This is the chance to build something from the ground up,” he said in a phone interview.
Rep. LaTourette surprised many last summer when he announced he wouldn’t run again. He pointed to frustration with the gridlock and lack of cooperation in Congress. Former Geauga County Prosecutor David Joyce, a longtime friend of LaTourette, was elected to replace him.
McDonald Hopkins is a law firm with an 80-year history and offices in Chicago, Cleveland, Columbus, Detroit, Miami and West Palm Beach.
“It was a natural step for our firm,” Carl Grassi, the firm’s president, said of the expansion to Washington, D.C.
Grassi lives in Kirtland in Lake County and has known Steve LaTourette for many years.
“He has a high integrity that will fit so well within our firm and culture,” he said.
The firm may eventually look at expanding its Washington, D.C., subsidiary, Grassi said.
LaTourette said he weighed several opportunities after his retirement, but thought working for McDonald Hopkins was the best choice. He said his initial tasks could involve answering questions from the firm’s staff and clients about how the federal government works.
“I’ve already gotten a call from a partner in Chicago who had a question about a dairy issue,” he said. “This will provide extra value for the firm.”
LaTourette said he expects to build a client base around transportation and financial services, which were areas he concentrated on during his time in Congress.
Jennifer LaTourette has been vice president of Van Scoyoc Associates, a lobbying firm, since 2003.
Steve LaTourette also will serve as president for the next three years of the Main Street Partnership, where he plans to start a Super PAC to support moderate congressional candidates. He said the group’s board met this week and dropped the word “Republican” for its name.
“This was more than symbolic,” he said. “We want to provide support and comfort for members of both parties who take the center right position.”