Loose Lips

D.C. Lottery Contract: Now With FBI Interviews

The FBI has been interviewing people about the D.C. Lottery contract procurement process, according to people familiar with the apparently widening federal investigation into the District's government.

The interviews signal a heightened interest from federal law enforcement officials in the highly politicized way in which the D.C. Council awarded the lucrative lotto contract. News broke recently that the feds requested lottery-related documents from Eric Payne, a former contracting officer who is suing the city in a wrongful termination lawsuit.

One person who was interviewed recently by the FBI, who declined to be identified by name citing the sensitive nature of the ongoing investigation, says the FBI's questions were focused on the council's role in the awarding of the lottery contract and whether any elected official improperly benefited.

The drama associated with the lotto contracted centered mostly around which politically connected local partner would wind up with the contract. In the end, then-Chairman Vince Gray's pick, Emmanuel Bailey, wound up the winner. An investigation by the Inspector General did not find any proof that any elected officials broke any laws.

More recently, the Washington Metropolitan Transportation Authority has engaged an outside law firm to review allegations that Ward 1 Councilmember Jim Graham (a former Metro board member) improperly tried to pressure one lotto bidder out of a Florida Avenue development deal with the transit agency. Graham has denied any wrongdoing.

y prooof any illegal activity by any elected officials
  • Joe

    About time!! Mixing elected officials and complicated computer contracts is surely a recipe for a bad ending.

  • Truth hurts

    This is the same lottery contract award Nickles formally asked the IG to investigate years ago. The same lottery contract one city and others have refused to discuss under oath.

    Cant wait for gray to take the fifth at his court ordered deposition.

  • KeepInItReal

    The IG has looked into this and has found no wrong doing. However, I don't think they looked into the Graham angle with respect to political pressuring of Metro contracting as it relates to lotto. Graham is a sneaky one.

  • Joe

    The IG has no contracting experience. Of course he would find no wrongdoing.

  • Drez

    Does the IG have subpoena power?
    Just curious.

  • hymesb

    Bill Lightfoot...Bill Lightfoot...Bill lightfoot....Bill light fingers.....Bill Lightfingers...Bill Lightfingers.....stop interviewing him and start investigating him....LOL!!!!!!

  • HOOKMAN

    The IG is a joke and a puppet to whomever is Mayor....The IG will go after the little people in each DC Gov agency, but don't expect him to find any wrongdoing by any of the Mayor's appointees or their subordinates.....well unless the FBI investigates the nature of the wrongdoing....

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