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When council member Mary M. Cheh was asked why Intralot needed a local partner, she deferred to Mr. Gray. “That question is best left to the chairman,” the Ward 3 Democrat said.

Mr. Gray sets the council agenda and brings matters to a vote, a powerful position that allowed him to block Intralot’s first contract award for close to a year in 2008 because he and others objected to the company’s original lottery partner, a local firm whose principal had ties to Mr. Fenty.

When Mr. Gray finally brought a lottery contract to a council vote, after a second procurement process in which Intralot won the CFO’s recommendation without a local partner, the gambling company had nevertheless taken on a different partnerwho was familiar to Mr. Gray: Emmanuel S. Bailey, president of VSC.

The council approved the Intralot award on Dec. 1 by a vote of 9-1, a week after a Nov. 24 hearing in which Intralot Vice President Lynn Becker appeared with Mr. Bailey.

The day before the hearing, on Nov. 23, Intralot and VSC inked a “Business Relationship Formation Agreement” making Mr. Bailey CEO of a joint venture called DC09 LLC “for the term of the lottery contract,” with VSC owning 51 percent of the venture.

Neither the council nor Mr. Gandhi’s office vetted VSC prior to the Dec. 1 council vote, according to D.C. Attorney General Peter J. Nickles.

At the Nov. 24 hearing, Mr. Bailey introduced himself as “a native Washingtonian, and more importantly, proud son of Barbara Bailey, who dedicated 25 years of her professional career to the residents and employees of the District of Columbia.”

Invoking his mother’s service to the District may have touched some council members. Mr. Gray worked with Ms. Bailey while the two were employed at the D.C. Department of Human Services (DHS) in the 1990s and the two routinely socialized, according to multiple sources.

Mr. Bailey recently told The Washington Times that he’s “not unknown” to the council chairman, and confirmed the professional relationship his mother had with Mr. Gray.

In October 2008, Mr. Gray met with Mr. Bailey and Intralot’s lobbyist Kevin P. Chavous, a former D.C. Council member. The group “discussed Bailey’s professional experience,” said Gray spokeswoman Doxie McCoy.

Mr. Bailey recalled that he and Mr. Chavous talked with Mr. Gray about the lottery at the meeting, which occurred as the approval legislation for Intralot and its first business partner was still pending before the council.

“He said he had concerns,” Mr. Bailey told The Times in a May 16 interview. “I told him I had expertise on my side.”

According to documents obtained by The Times, Mr. Bailey told people after the meeting that he could count on Mr. Gray’s support, and he told The Times he called Intralot’s first local partner to say he was “happy to help if he could.”

Mr. Gray has denied influencing the lottery contract and points to his abstention at the Dec. 1 vote as evidence of his distance from the matter.

In explaining his abstention, Mr. Gray told reporters at the time that he had issues with the process, though the appearance by Mr. Bailey and Intralot representatives before the council on Nov. 24 “raised his confidence in the contract award.”

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