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Earlier this week, LL first reported, the city’s Contract Appeals Board ruled that the Office of the Chief Financial Officer had properly awarded the controversial lottery contract to W2I, the partnership between Greek firm Intralot and locals W2Tech, over the previous contract holders, Lottery Technology Enterprises.
The panel’s ruling isn’t the end of the saga, however: In a letter sent to councilmembers yesterday, LTE head Leonard Manning wrote that his outfit intends to appeal the CAB decision in D.C. Superior Court. Such a move further draws out the process that has become a political flashpoint, with the D.C. Council refusing to take action to approve the contract, which stands to save the District $40 million over 10 years.
Mayor Adrian M. Fenty told LL on Wednesday he intends to resubmit the contract—-again—-in hopes that the council will vote to approve. Yesterday, in comments to LL, Interim Attorney General Peter J. Nickles amplified that stance: “We trust that the council will now schedule the matter for an up-or-down vote.”
LTE’s decision to pursue an appeal could provide political cover to Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray—-who has not gone out of his way to move the contract, to say the least—-by allowing him to refuse action on the grounds of a pending court proceeding. And come January, with the election of Michael A. Brown, the chances of the contract passing don’t get any better.
Meanwhile, the CFO’s office has taken steps to prepare for a rebid—-a process that’s expected to result in a much worse deal for the District.
UPDATE, 2:54 P.M.: W2I spokesperson Crystal Wright points out that LTE partner GTECH has pursued a similar strategy in Ohio. “This is what they do. They don’t want to accept the reality that they lost this RFP….at a time, I might add, when there’s a $130 million shortfall in the District of Columbia….It’s time for the D.C. Council to do the right thing.”