The FBI has obtained the D.C. lottery board's travel records and the bid proposals of three companies seeking a multimillion-dollar ticket contract as part of a federal investigation of two board members, lottery and federal officials said yesterday.
Chester C. Carter, the board's executive director, confirmed yesterday that he gave the records to the FBI at their request, and that agents have also asked for transcripts and minutes of all board meetings since the agency began operating more than a year ago. Carter said he will comply with that request as soon as the transcripts can be assembled.
The FBI is investigating allegations of bribery and conflict of interest in the board's award of contracts to run various aspects of the city's multimillion-dollar legal lottery games, according to sources.
Joseph diGenova, the principal assistant U.S. attorney here, said yesterday that there is an ongoing federal investigation and that it is focusing on "the activities of two board members." DiGenova declined to give additional information and would not identify the two members.
Sources familiar with the probe have said that Jerry S. Cooper and Lillian C. Wiggins are the members.
Cooper, in an interview earlier this month, denied that he is a subject of the investigation.
Wiggins, who said last night that she is not aware of being a subject of the investigation, said in an previous interview that agents have questioned her about a fur coat she owns.
Wiggins has speculated that the FBI might be interested in the coat because she bought it the same day she had lunch with two officials of LaMancha Inc., the company that has the advertising contract for the lottery's instant and daily numbers games. Wiggins said one LaMancha official, Teresa Suter, who runs the company and owns a majority of its stock, met her at the furriers.
Randolph Garfield, vice president of Rosendorf-Evans furriers, said in a recent interview that his firm's records show that Wiggins paid $4,000 in cash for the coat earlier this year.
Carter said yesterday that the FBI has also asked for the evaluation sheets used by the five board members earlier this year to approve the contract for the recently started daily numbers game, an award that prompted a heated dispute between the board and Mayor Marion Barry over the critieria used by the board in its decision. Carter said those will also be turned over. The contract for the daily numbers game was given to Lottery Technology Enterprises.
Meanwhile, the board, after meeting for two hours behind closed doors yesterday, postponed until Monday the selection of a company to provide instant lottery tickets for four games scheduled for next year. Three companies are seeking that contract.
Board chairman Brant Coopersmith said longer-than-expected staff briefings on technical aspects of the contract caused the postponement. He said one of the issues discussed was whether the selection process had been compromised because the confidential bids had been turned over to the FBI. However, he said, board members agreed it had not.