CFO Fires Contract Chief
District Chief Financial Officer Natwar Gandhi fired his contracting chief today, three weeks after the D.C. Council refused to approve a new $120 million lottery contract put forward by Gandhi's office.
Eric W. Payne had been running contracts for the agencies that Gandhi oversees since 2005. He was heavily involved in the controversy last year involving a recommendation to switch the lottery management contract from Lottery Technology Enterprises to W2l. LTE has held the contract since the lottery was created. Both firms are partnerships between international lottery operators and local firms.
Payne said that the existing contractor was performing badly and costing the District money.
Critics of the proposed contract with W2I said the firm was tied to Mayor Adrian M. Fenty through fraternity and friendship.
The council voted 8-3 last month to seek new bids rather than approve the contract supported by Gandhi and Fenty, who put it forth repeatedly over the year.
Gandhi spokesman David Umansky said yesterday he would not comment on personnel matters, but added that Payne's departure would not hinder efforts to re-compete the contract. He said existing contracting staff would carry on the work.
"I am surprised and disappointed by their actions," Payne said this afternoon. He is reviewing his options, he said.
January 9, 2009; 5:23 PM ET
Categories: City Finances
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