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By Ted Cruz
Israel saves its enemies; Hamas endangers its friends
Topic - Peter J. Nickles
Within weeks of an inspector general's report that criticized a bid by the D.C. Lottery to launch a first-in-the-nation online gambling program, the deal was dead.
The D.C. Council took a major step Tuesday toward reconfiguring the city's $38 million lottery contract when it voted to repeal an online gambling law once urged by its supporters as a pivotal revenue source for the city.
A trio of D.C. Council members signaled their intent Wednesday to re-examine the $38 million D.C. Lottery contract and a plan to launch the nation's first online poker system, an idea promoted by council member Michael A. Brown, at-large independent, and approved without public discussion in a supplemental budget bill in December.
Two former D.C. Cabinet officials are dismayed that their joint request for an investigation by the Inspector General's Office of the D.C. Lottery contract has gone nowhere.
An arbitrator has overturned for the fifth time the refiring of a reinstated Metropolitan Police Department officer, lending support to persistent accusations by rank-and-file officers that Chief Cathy L. Lanier has systematically abused their due process rights and undermined MPD's disciplinary system.
In the course of five days last week, the District's mayor was called a "crook" at a public hearing, the council chairman's campaign committee was accused of widespread reporting violations, one council member disclosed he had been offered bribes, and another council member was accused of using his charity as a slush fund.
Congress sent a message Wednesday to D.C. officials who this week approved plans for the city lottery to offer online poker: Not so fast.
Curious whom D.C. Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray met with as he pondered and then embarked on a run for mayor?
When the D.C. Council approved the city's lottery contract in December, two members spoke before the vote on behalf of the local firm that walked away with a majority stake in the deal: Chairman Vincent C. Gray and Marion Barry.
D.C.'s attorney general called for a formal investigation into how a firm with questionable credentials and limited experience took a majority share in the city's $38 million lottery contract.
D.C. Attorney General Peter J. Nickles is looking into whether council members vetted a $38 million lottery contract to a Greek-based gaming company that joined with a local firm outside the bidding process.
The Fenty administration yesterday pledged to reform the city's long-troubled Child and Family Services Agency, a day after the mayor fired six child welfare workers for failing to help four girls found dead last week in a Southeast row house.
"Even as the award was being upheld by a contract appeals board, the council disapproved of it for no ostensible reason other than they objected to the local partner," Mr. Nickles said. "It's the only time in the city's history that I recall the council disapproving a contract that has been vetted through a formal process. It's unprecedented, and it damages the city's credibility in the business community."
Mr. Nickles said the lottery is one of the largest contracts in the city, which only aggravated him further when council Chairman Vincent C. Gray delayed for nearly a year a required vote to approve the first award to Intralot and its then-partner, W2Tech.