Loose Lips

FBI Seeking Records in Lotto Contract, Attorney Says

The FBI has subpoenaed documents related to the D.C. lottery contract from a former employee who is suing the city because he says he was unfairly fired for protesting the process by which the contract was awarded, according to that employee's lawyer. The FBI's interest in the lotto contract could signal that the ongoing federal investigation of Mayor Vince Gray has extended well beyond campaign matters and is looking at the city's contracting process.

Regular readers of this blog are no doubt very familiar with the saga of Eric Payne, a former staffer in the Chief Financial Officer's office whose wrongful termination lawsuit has been a major thorn in the sides of top city officials. Today in court his lawyer, Brian K. McDaniel, made public the fact that the FBI has subpoenaed documents from Payne related to the lottery contract.

The records Payne has obtained as part of his lawsuit are under a protective order, though. McDaniel says the judge in the case ruled that the Department of Justice needs to explain why the protective order should be lifted for the FBI before Payne can hand over the documents.

A spokeswoman for the FBI declined to comment. It's unclear why the FBI would turn to Payne for documents that he presumably obtained from the city. Spokesmen for the CFO's office and the attorney general were not immediately available to say whether the FBI also subpoenaed the city directly for lotto-related documents.*

Some of the key players involved in the Gray campaign's effort to make illegal payments to Sulaimon Brown were also involved in an effort win the city's lucrative lotto contract. Howard Brooks, who admitted in court last week to paying Brown more than $2,000, was an adviser to a group seeking the lotto contract that included Lorraine Green as a partner. Green is the mayor's closest friend and was his campaign chairwoman. LL and the Post have pegged her as "Person A" in court records, a person who knew of the payments to Brown. Green and Brooks' bid for the lotto contract was ultimately unsuccessful.

An Office of the Inspector General's report released earlier this year found "insufficient evidence" that any elected official acted improperly during the contentious lottery-contract awarding process. But if the feds start poking around the lottery contracts, the investigation could involve more than just Gray. Ward 1 Councilmember Jim Graham, who's been the subject of keen FBI interest in the past, was recently ordered to testify in Payne's lawsuit about his role in the lottery contracting process.

*Update: A spokesman for the CFO's office says they have not received any subpoenas from the FBI related to the lotto contract.

  • Drez

    It's like a nightmare that never ends.

  • Drez

    It's unclear why the FBI would turn to Payne for documents that he presumably obtained from the city.
    Perhaps they already have copies of what the city has, and they want to see whether they were altered in any way.

  • alan is a pussy

    buries stuff about graham until after the jump. why do you only focus on black pols?

  • itsjustamess

    Mayor Gray, those FBI footsteps are getting louder...

  • Just Curious

    Does anyone know what happens to Gandhi, Graham or Gray if they provide information to the FBI, when interviewed, that materially differs from the information subpoenaed from Payne? Or, if they altered information previously requested/received by the Feds?

    Does it matter if it is a deposition (done under penalty of perjury) v. another unsworn item? I sure hope that the 3 Gs know what they said, in person or in emails, and that they don't contradict themselves when the Feds pick them up...Otherwise, it will be a long, hot summer.

    I guess we all now know why each of them fought being deposed. Why avoid a deposition if you got nothing to hide?

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  • DC Dude

    Sewerman hasn't been in DC long enough to put two and two together on this.... This is not about Gray. The FBI is looking at Fenty and Bailey's CBE. Gray has very little, if any exposure on the lotto stuff. Remember he recused himself on the vote and his friends did not get the contract, you can't steer a cotract that was not awarded. All the dirt on lotto is about Fenty and maybe Ghandi... Gray, and to a lesser degree, Graham, we're bit players.

    Alan you are a self righteous, carpet bagging, douchebag... BTW are you still living in Gaithersburg?

  • capitol hill

    @dcdude What does it matter what color the crooks are? All crooks should be exposed. Dc sucks and will continue to suck until we get rid of all the suckers.

  • Drez

    Grays chosen local partner did get the contract- 51% of it went to them.
    Let the chips fall where they may.

  • James

    @dcdude You're wrong re: Fenty and the lottery contract. @Drez is correct about the involvement of Gray's chosen local partner.

  • Truth hurts

    Tick, tick, tick...

  • N.E. John

    To jail, to jail, they're gonna go to jail, na na na na na na na na na na na na na na!

  • http://btolson1@verizonnet.com Susan

    I am impressed Eric Payne!! Good JOB!!

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