William "Bill" Phillips Sr. of Germantown, among Stevens plane crash victims

Former senator Ted Stevens of Alaska is the latest in a sad fraternity to perish while traveling by air.
By Ovetta Wiggins and Martin Weil
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, August 11, 2010

A Germantown man who was a former staffer for Sen. Ted Stevens was among the passengers who died in the Alaska plane crash. His 13-year-old son survived.

William "Bill" Phillips Sr., 56, was an attorney and lobbyist at Utrecht and Phillips, a District-based firm that specializes in legislative and administrative representation and counsels clients on campaign finance and election law. From 1981 to 1986, he was Stevens's legislative director and chief of staff.

William "Willy" Phillips Jr. was traveling with his father.

"Out of respect for the family, we are not inclined to comment," said Kim Patterson, who works at Georgetown Prep, which Willy's older brothers attended. "We are taking it bit by bit."

Phillips's specialty was legislative law and congressional procedure and he had experience in several public policy areas, including economic regulation, transportation, energy and national defense.

A message left for Lyn Utrecht, Phillips's business partner, was not returned.

Patricia A. Fiori, a colleague, said: "I don't have information at this point."

According to the firm's Web site, Phillips was a guest lecturer on legislation and congressional procedures at his alma mater, Georgetown University Law Center, and the Brookings Institution.

He was a member of the Board of Regents for Georgetown University and was on numerous other boards.

Like his sons, who play collegiate football, Phillips played football at the University of Evansville in the early to mid-1970s. He and his wife, Janet, had four sons.

Another survivor of the crash who has Washington connections is Jim Morhard, who founded Morhard & Associates, a D.C. law and lobbying firm, five years ago after a career on Capitol Hill and in the executive branch.

Morhard's most prominent role was as chief of staff of the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee under Stevens.

In remarks published in the Congressional Record, Stevens praised him for tact, fairness and bipartisan spirit, as well as for creativity and an ability to forge vital compromises.

Morhard, now 53, of Northern Virginia, joined the appropriations staff in 1991, and became chief of staff in 2003.

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