Report: LA Wal-Mart lobbyist posed as reporter

By the Associated Press | June 15, 2012 | 9:55 PM EDT

LOS ANGELES (AP) — An associate at a lobbying firm working to bring a Wal-Mart store to Chinatown in Los Angeles has resigned after posing as a student reporter at a news conference held by a labor group opposing the store.

The Los Angeles Times ( says city records show Stephanie Harnett worked for Mercury Public Affairs, which was hired by Wal-Mart to promote the project.

The project provoked opposition from labor groups. Last week when one of them held a news conference, Harnett attended saying she was a college student journalist, and interviewed a warehouse worker.

Mercury released a statement saying it did not approve of or direct Harnett's actions, and a Wal-Mart spokesman called them "unacceptable, misleading and wrong."

A message left at a listing for Harnett was not immediately returned.


Information from: Los Angeles Times,