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Gray, lottery executive met over contract
Question of the Day
The majority partner of a company in line to take over the D.C. Lottery later this year said he met with D.C. Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray and a former council member turned lobbyist in December 2008 after Mr. Gray had taken steps to scuttle the contract’s award to an ally of Mayor Adrian M. Fenty.
“We left the meeting with a good feeling,” said Emmanuel Bailey, a manager and 51 percent partner in DC09 LLC, the joint venture between Mr. Bailey’s firm and lottery giant Intralot, which the D.C. Council approved in December.
The lobbyist, Kevin P. Chavous, represents Intralot, which agreed to partner with Mr. Bailey after failing to gain council approval for a 2008 contract award - around the time of the meeting with Mr. Gray - and after prevailing in a second round of bidding in October.
Mr. Chavous confirmed last week that he represented Mr. Bailey in an unrelated legal matter, but with Intralot’s consent. The 2008 meeting, according to Mr. Bailey, ended with Mr. Gray and Mr. Chavous staying behind to discuss the lottery in private.
Mr. Chavous did not return calls on Wednesday regarding the 2008 meeting.
Mr. Gray’s spokeswoman Doxie McCoy said in an e-mail that the council chairman met with Mr. Bailey and Mr. Chavous in October 2008 but denied ever wielding his influence over any lottery contract partnership.
The Washington Times reported on Monday that after the 2008 contract award to Intralot, Mr. Gray and other elected officials pressured D.C. Chief Financial Officer Natwar M. Gandhi and his staff to “get rid of” Intralot’s local partner, W2Tech, owned by Warren C. Williams Jr., according to the lawyer who oversaw the procurement process for Mr. Gandhi.
The lawyer, Eric W. Payne, has filed a lawsuit against the city, accusing Mr. Gandhi of retaliating against him after he complained of purported procurement improprieties and inappropriate intervention from elected officials.
Mr. Payne said the lawmakers objected to awarding the contract to Mr. Williams, who had other city contracts and business ties to friends of Mr. Fenty. The officials included Mr. Gray, and council members Jack Evans and Jim Graham, Mr. Payne said.
According to notes of a meeting reviewed by The Times, Mr. Graham met with W2Tech and offered to support the lottery contract award if Mr. Williams would bow out of a separate, unrelated deal with the city.
Through a spokesman, Mr. Graham confirmed meeting with W2Tech, but denied having any such conversation.
Mr. Evans did not return calls for comment.
On Wednesday, Byron E. Boothe Jr., Intralot’s vice president of government relations, said he was unaware that Mr. Chavous had met with Mr. Gray and Intralot’s eventual partner before the contract was sent out for a second bid.
Mr. Boothe said he spoke with Mr. Bailey this week and was told that he and Mr. Chavous met with Mr. Gray, but not until after the first contract award was voted down and a second round of bidding got under way in 2009.
“Emmanuel [Bailey] told me he was just testing the waters,” Mr. Boothe said.
However, on Tuesday, Mr. Bailey sent a text message to The Times confirming that the Gray meeting took place in December 2008.
Sources who spoke with Mr. Bailey in late December 2008 and documents obtained by The Times show that he then began representing himself to people interested in the lottery contract as a person who could deliver Mr. Gray’s support.
Until that point, Mr. Gray had refused for months to place the first contract award to Intralot and W2Tech on the council agenda for a vote.
Mr. Bailey’s mother, Barbara Bailey, is the chairman of his company and will handle local hiring for DC09. She also is a longtime associate of Mr. Gray, having served with him at the D.C. Department of Human Services in the 1990s.
Until recently, Mr. Bailey’s company and the lottery partnership with Intralot operated out of his mother’s house in Southeast Washington.
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