Jonetta Rose Barras in her column in the Washington Examiner takes on what could be an emerging scandal resulting from “unanswered questions and unreported relationships” over online gambling in the District.
The burgeoning conspiracy surrounds the controversial contract awarded to an international gambling company to run the D.C. Lottery. The D.C. Lottery, of course, will operate the unprecedented — and wildly lucrative — online gambling program.
From Ms. Barras’s column:
“In 2008, Michael A. Brown, a lifelong Democrat and proponent of legalized gambling, strategically morphed into an independent and won a D.C. Council seat. That same year, Chief Financial Officer Natwar Gandhi decided to change the city’s lottery contractor. A partnership involving friends of then-Mayor Adrian M. Fenty won the bid.
“But council members, led by then-Chairman Vincent C. Gray, blocked approval of that agreement. Eric Payne, a CFO contract manager, subsequently accused Gandhi and Gray of ‘favoritism, interference, and intimidation.’ Payne was fired and sued the city.
“Pushing aside what many saw as legitimate winners, Gandhi sought new bids. He selected Intralot, which at the time didn’t have a minority-local partner as required by law. Somehow, it connected with Emmanuel Bailey’s Veteran Services Corp., whose friends allegedly include Gray and Brown. Lorraine Green — a Gray political confidante — later joined the Bailey-Intralot team.”
We couldn’t have said it more concisely. In fact, we didn’t.
The D.C. lottery contract, which was the subject of an investigation initiated by former D.C. Attorney General Peter Nickles, was also the subject of an investigation by Jeffrey Anderson of The Washington Times. For Anderson’s reporting on the deal-making, the characters and the controversies, check out the articles under the related content section on the right side of this page.