Loose Lips

Read: Affidavit in Lottery Contract Case

Note to District government employees who feel like they might one day have to sue the city: record conversations with your bosses!

That's the takeaway from the below affidavit of Eric Payne, the former contracting officer for the District who has filed a lawsuit allegeing he was wrongfully demoted then fired for refusing to play politics when awarding the city's lucrative lottery contract. (For a recap of the sad tale of the lottery contract, see here, and here.)

After being told that he was being demoted, Payne recorded a conversation with his bosses. Angell Jacobs, director of operations for the chief financial officer, makes it clear to Payne that he hasn't done anything wrong and that some of the city's elected officials are on a mission to destroy the local partner that originally teamed up with the Greek gaming company that won the bid for the lotto contract.

Money quote from Jacobs: "Do we have any concern about the process we used? No. Do we have any concern at all about what you've did? Or the things that your office has done? Or any of the [OCFO] participants? Absolutely not. And that why I said to you, [Ward 1 Councilmember] Jim Graham is on a personal vendetta here and, you know, he thinks the way to get what he wants is to find a way to discredit the people that were involved in the process. And he doesn't care who that involves. Umm, because for [then-Council Chairman Vince] Gray and Graham, this is all personal. This is about their friends, or who is not their friends for Graham ..."

NB: Because Payne's case is pending, Gray and Graham can't give much in the way of a defense.

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  • Ward One Resident

    When doesn't the Grahamstander have a personal vendetta against someone/something?!

  • Southeast Ken

    Miss Graham need to take a time out and go sit in a corner. Unfortunately, when you cross some gay men, they can become very vicious people, looking for revenge. I find Miss Catania to be a very vicious hateful human being. However, Miss Graham is a lot of things, but not a hateful human being.

  • Ward7Diva

    I believe every word Mr. Eric Payne wrote in this affidavit! Gray and Graham are both nasty old fools!

    Gray and Graham wanted their friends and family to benefit from the lottery contract!

  • Truth Hurts

    What's this N.B. crap? Gray and Graham CAN (but won't) testify under oath. In fact, they were both subpoened in the Payne case, but have filed motions to quash those subpoenas.

    So LL, tell it like it is: Sworn testimony implicating Gray/Graham in wrongdoing versus NOTHING from these jerks.

  • Marciela

    Gandhi seems to be untouchable. He has made far too many mistakes to be considered competent. Tax scandal, DCPS manufactured RIF, this mess where he echoed Evans like a parrot ... How many more that we don't know about yet?

    Payne was very smart to tape these antics. Other people would be wise to do so too. Far too many DC government officials, both elected and appointed, appear to have fatal allergic reactions to the truth. I hope a lot more of the sordid details come out very soon. Corruption and consequences should be color blind and doled out to everyone who is guilty.

  • Truth Hurts

    For anyone seriously interested in good, honest, and trustworthy government/city officials, I suggest you review Payne's pleadings (and affidavit) side by side with the AG's 2010 formal request to the IG for a "high priority" investigation of this matter.

    Do your homework, please, if you care.

  • Marciela

    I believe an extreme and sordid civil conspiracy is emerging before our eyes. I read Payne's entire affadavit and I am glad he caught such corrupt comments in tape. If Jack Evans really said in such a cavalier manner, "Why can't we just get rid if him," what a lousy comment! It should be very telling! For Jim Graham to allegedly trade contracts is appalling. ALL of these people need to go! Look at the cast of characters running the District. There are only a few council members NOT being investigated. That is a piss poor situation.

    There is another revealing story in the Times today involving another employment issue. A person who allegedly cost the city and violated workman's compensation is reinstated. Yet educators and police officers, to name a few examples, are tossed out. We need to wake up! The feds need to look at them all.

  • Terry Miller

    I believe what Payne said, but isn't the true villian Dr. Ghandi? He is an independent authority for a reason. He should protect his people when they are trying to do their jobs. Instead, he tosses them out. Among the three councilmembers, Graham looks the worst.

    And why didn't Fenty step into to protect Mr. Payne? It seems that Fenty supported the initial contract (was Bannecker Ventures mentioned?) You would think that Fenty would reward this.

    This seems to be a case of total system failure. Everyone, including the IG, let this guy down. Unfortunately this has happened to far too many D.C. government employees.