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Mr. Graham referred questions to the general counsel for the D.C. Council, who denied any improper influence by Mr. Graham.

Tortured history

The lottery contract has a tortured history.

In October 2009, a little less than a year after W2Tech was rejected, Intralot again won the contract through competitive bidding, but without a partner. D.C. Council members, including Marion Barry, told Intralot’s representatives they would need a local partner to secure council approval, and Maryland businessman Emmanuel Bailey was appended to the deal as a 51 percent partner in a joint venture set up as a subcontractor to Intralot.

In a series of articles in 2010, The Times found that Mr. Bailey’s company had boasted on its corporate website of general contracting experience from federal jobs it did not perform for government clients who had never heard of it, and that Mr. Bailey had a messy employment history and had been involved with troubled businesses and lawsuits.

The July 20, 2010, letter to Mr. Willoughby from Mr. Nickles and Mr. Gragan asked the inspector general to investigate whether the D.C. Council acted appropriately in approving a contract that included a partner who was added after the competitive bidding process, and whether Mr. Gandhi’s office should conduct further inquiry into Mr. Bailey’s company’s “capability to serve as the operations manager for the contract.”

Said Mr. Nickles: “I told Gandhi, ‘This isn’t right. You awarded a contract based on points in a competitive bid process, and now you’ve approved a contract with a presumption that isn’t true.’ He said his office could take care of it through his ability to control the actions of the prime contractor. But to me, that’s an evasion of their oversight role.”