City Desk

New D.C. Lottery Bids: Woodson, Wiggins, Green Emerge as Local Partners

The new bids on the long controversial D.C. Lottery contract were due today at 2 p.m.; this is what LL has thus far been able to suss out.

Rhode Island-based GTECH, which ditched longtime partner Leonard Manning in May, has found a bevy of local partners with appeal across the local political spectrum. Long story short, their team has been meticulously constructed to ensure broad support on the D.C. Council, which derailed the last contract award.

From the Fenty axis, you have Darryl Wiggins. A local businessman, he's been a longtime political ally of Fenty's dating back to the his first council campaign. He also was a key member of Hizzoner's transition operation in 2006. He owns Document Managers, a business that's done a lot of business with District government and has experience in managing large tech enterprises, which is what running the lottery involves. (For further Fenty ties, his political guru, Tom Lindenfeld, has been hired by GTECH as a consultant.)

From the Gray axis, you have Lorraine Green. She's the VP in charge of human resources for Amtrak and is a former deputy director of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management. Her close relationship with Gray goes back at least to their shared service under Mayor Sharon Pratt–she as head of personnel, he as head of human services. She's also a former executive director of the D.C. Lottery and Charitable Games Control Board. Good experience there!

Right in the middle is attorney Rod Woodson, a partner at Holland & Knight. One of the best-known lobbyists in local government, Woodson's expert at maintaining relations across political lines—in no small part by spreading campaign donations far and wide. Woodson has deep connections in the legal, real estate, and health care communities.

That leaves big fish Intralot and Scientific Games.

Scientific Games seems not to have submitted a bid, a source says, abandoning Maryland businessman Charles Hopkins; Intralot, which won the initial bid before it was controversially not approved by the D.C. Council, is said to have submitted a bid, but without its controversial local partners, Warren and Alaka Williams.

The Office of the Chief Financial Officer declined to confirm any of this, citing confidentiality laws. Spokesperson David Umansky says that "the expectation is that the recommendation will go the Mayor in the fall."

UPDATE, 3:45 P.M.: Wiggins says he was approached by GTECH about a month ago to pursue a partnership. He says he sees an affinity between his current business and the lottery business: "What we do is management of digital technology in the field. I manage digital technology in the field...It can be a lottery ticket or it can be a deposition."

Wiggins explains that if his bid is successful, his employees will be responsible for maintaining the lottery equipment.

LL asked Wiggins if his mayoral connections played into his participation: "I don't think it plays at all, to be frank with you. We have a great mayor....He doesn't believe in political patronage. All of the time I've worked for the mayor, I've never contacted him about any procurement I've been involved in. I don't expect him to be my business development manager."

UPDATE, 6/29, 12:25 P.M.: Mea culpa: Scientific Games has indeed submitted a bid, their lead local partner, Charles Hopkins, reports.

Hopkins, a Chevy Chase, Md., resident whose business concerns are based in D.C., says he's gathered four other local partners—all D.C. residents—in his group. As for their identities, Hopkins is cagey. All he'll say: "It's a team that covers the lottery/retail side of the equation—which I bring to the table—a leading technologist, and we have people who are deeply involved in the gaming industry as advisers."

UPDATE, 6/29, 3:15 P.M.: LL was able to chat with Green this afternoon, who describes her intentions thusly: "I know what it takes to have an efficiently run lottery, and that's what I'm interested in."

Green declined to address what winning the big might mean for her day job, but she says that she'll "definitely not be involved in a day-to-day full-time capacity."

Green served as executive director of the lottery board from 1989 to 1991, when she started running the city personnel department. This mind you was in the heyday of Pratt's "clean house with a shovel" effort, and few departments required as much cleaning as Gray's human services department. "I spent a lot of time working with him then," she says. "I realized how dedicated and hardworking he is." She went on to co-chair Gray's 2006 campaign for chairman, and in recent years has served on an advisory board to the lottery.

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  • love my city

    I think that someone should ask why Gray's girlfriend would go after a controversial contract like the Lottery. This looks like more of the same, close personal friends in high places and still no experience in the industry. Yet and another flim/flam deal offered to the city.

  • L. Touraine

    Looks like the same old cronyism crap just a different cast of characters playing dirty politics. With Wiggins and Woodson on GTECH's team, not to mention the hiring of Lindenfeld, looks like GTECH's pandering to Mayor Fenty too. And with Lorraine Greene in the mix, GTECH is sitting pretty with Gray/Council. I wonder who will win the contract (not on merit) this time? What a joke.

  • Big City Big Game

    Does anybody understand the Lottery Business from the operational vendor prospective? Nothing worse than a former Lottery Director turned Lottery Professional. Much less a Lottery Director from the 90's. It's 2009 and the entire business has changed! This is not like riding a bicycle, you can forget when you haven't been in the business for over a decade.
    As for the Hopkins "team" this is not like running a Walmart. Thus his retail team may not have the value he deems important.

    Looks like the winner is TBD, my money is on trashing this popularity contest and starting over.

  • L. Touraine

    Evidently Greene knows Gray very well, very, very well. DC government all about the con.

  • K. Wood

    Have you.... the Washington City-based writer "dumped" web logs on your avid readers representing the facts, or the myths surrounding the D.C. Lottery Contract?  Please, accuracy is zenith.  You have a responsibility of ethics to uphold and all of us innocents are trusting in that. 
    In referencing your May 19TH blog regarding the last Lottery Contract voted down by the City Council, you state the following: "LTE last year submitted a bid to extend its hold on the contract, but the Office of the Chief Financial Officer deemed the bid inferior to that of W2I, a partnership between multinational Intralot and local partner W2Tech—run by Alaka Williams, wife of politically connected businessman Warren C. Williams Jr. The award became a political hot potato in the D.C. Council, which has to approve contracts over $1 million, resulting in the contract being essentially rejected last December."

    The action that generated that "political hot potato" in the D.C. Council was carried out by Eric Payne, The Office of the Chief Financial Officer, and he was fired. Was it for his mocked up paperwork he provided the council that made no sense at all?  (Who put him up to all of that mess....I mean his mocked up mess, misleading statements, secrets, vagueness, etc.)  Then, apparently the "mayor" had to do something that shifted the attention away from his biz-as-usual unsavory political behavior. It certainly seems hizoner has mastered the art of awarding his college cronies and reformed drug-dealing associates favors in many different forms.  Is that the same as "political patronage", a term Daryl Wiggins threw out as you reported.

    Add in the shenanigans of the embarrassing "business" practices and what you call a "politically connected businessman" (and college frat bro to AD).....Warren Williams Jr. Wait, that sounds familiar.  Didn't you call P. Leonard Manning a "politically connected businessman" also?  Myth or fact?

    Loose Lips continues:  "In the middle of all of that mishegoss, LTE was fined $1.4 million by the D.C. government for a massive security breach in 2006 that led to tens of thousands of dollars in ticket fraud." 
    By omission, by omission, by omission....what is the rest of this story?  Is it just too much work to go to the accurate sources and publish something specific and worthy of our time.  How about the that too boring?  Seeds of doubt are planted, watered and fertilized and a big giant myth is created that wholly discredits the facts.

    Your most recent blog, as of  June 26TH, has the facts stated wrong again.  I see you have figured out those myths by now.  Maybe it was just bad information and too obvious to go uncorrected this time.  Scientific Games did not submit a bid?

    Oh, and here we go again....not Intralot, but GTech bending way over with their choice in Daryl Wiggins.  Come on, the man fixes and resells copy machines...."Digi Doc" or is it "Document Managers?"   How many companies and contracts does he have and where are they coming from?

    That certainly puts him on a par with a company that has a career record of successfully running the D.C. lottery for 26 years now, doesn't it?  Remember, they started in 1983 with one three-digit game, The Daily Numbers game, and zero sales.  They endured and ascended to the present volume of $250 million a year. 

    What about the quotes from Mr. Wiggins, “What we do is management of digital technology in the field.  I manage digital technology in the field…It can be a lottery or it can be a deposition.” 
    Interesting rhetoric! According to his website, they are a copy service and copy machine/printer repair house for businesses around D.C.

    His statement brings up another myth looming: doesn't the current operator just repair terminals similar to how one repairs printers and copy machines? 

    No, they participate in game design, marketing, all aspects of digital and analog lottery operations,maintenance, and administration. They serve as the integral liaison between four often challenging elements:  the vendor, the lottery, the Office of the Chief Financial Officer, and the commune of Washington D.C. politics. 
    Hm mm, and how many mayors and lottery directors have they seen come and go? 

    Not sure where you are going with all of this up to the minute reporting on D.C. Lottery news, but would like to encourage you to stay honest, factual, and fair.  As a wordsmith, you have the power to shape and/or break an individual's character.

    There have been many unkind and unfair words written, spoken, and eventually believed by some, regarding the current operators of the D.C. Lottery contract over the last three years.  They have been bashed,  bruised, and prejudiced against. Is this attributable to two of the seven deadly sins at work here: greed and envy?   The facts, just beneath the superficial and the glut of phoniness, evidence greed and envy contained within individuals in politically powerful positions. 

    Some brave soul (like you) ought to try and even the score and do a piece on the current D.C. Lottery contract operators.  The facts display two fully-committed professional lottery gurus. They have a proven career record of being genuinely hard-working, honest and respectable gentlemen....both devoted and loyal in their responsibilities for the
    success of the Lottery, the good of the District-their community, and to their families. 

    It's all there in the historical facts of the D.C. Lottery and the lives of these two men. 

    There is something to be honored and celebrated in that. 

  • Ditto

    The last comment gives so wise advise to LL perhaps you should look into some truth in this whole process. Some facts and accuracy that would do you and your readers so good. The gossip is easy to come by and only clouds the truth.