Friday, October 07, 2005

Tonight's Winning Numbers Are...

Last year - after reading a Greg Palast article - Tas of Loaded Mouth conducted an investigation into a lawsuit filed by Lawrence Littwin, the executive director of the Texas Lottery Commission for a short spell in 1997, which alleged that he was wrongfully terminated due to "his attempts to uphold the laws of the state and eradicate inappropriate activities by the Texas Lottery Commission and GTech Corporation." (HOUSE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION).

Since Harriet E. Miers, the former head of the TLC appointed by the then Texas Governor George W. Bush, has been tapped to take Sandra Day O'Connor's place on the Supreme Court, the many unanswered questions about this lawsuit may finally be answered.

Tas wrote an updated post called "Let Lawrence Littwin testify at the Miers nomination hearings" which is too important to summarize.

(Okay, done reading Tas' post? then let's continue)

Today, The New York Times published an article entitled "Questions Linger on Role of Miers in a Contract to Run the Texas Lottery" by Ralph Blumenthal which mostly goes over the same ground that Tas covered last year. But The Times did contact Lawrence Littwin:

"Questions about that period could come up at Ms. Miers's confirmation hearings. Contacted by phone in New York, Mr. Littwin said this week that under a settlement he could not discuss his case but that he would testify before the Senate if called. A Democratic staff member at the Senate Judiciary Committee said the panel was likely to talk to him and others who had worked with Ms. Miers."

"On Thursday, Mr. Littwin told an associate that the F.B.I. had called his former law firm and that he was expecting to be contacted, according to the associate, who declined to be identified because he considered any investigation confidential."

Ken Berman from the Austin American-Statesman also wrote about Littwin a few days ago (Bush's Guard service may affect Miers nomination"):

"A former Texas lottery official, who claimed that then-Gov. George W. Bush's desire to cover up his National Guard record helped steer decisions about a key lottery contract, said he wants to talk to senators about Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers' possible role in that effort."

""If I were to be subpoenaed to come to the thing, I would come," said Lawrence Littwin, who filed a lawsuit after he was fired as the lottery's executive director in 1997. "I would say the committee, I think, would be interested.""

How deep is Miers involved in all of this?

Berman tells us (as much as he can):

"Littwin, citing confidentiality provisions in the settlement with GTECH, has declined to discuss Miers' role. A federal judge, ruling against GTECH, said Miers did not have to give a deposition in the case."

"Before the settlement, Littwin had questioned Miers' performance at the commission, charging that she ignored state law requiring annual audits of GTECH."

And if Littwin does testify at the hearings, it could cost him a pretty penny or five million of them:

"Under terms of the settlement, Littwin would have to forfeit $50,000 if he violates the confidentiality agreement. He said Monday that his lawyer told him he could testify if subpoenaed by the Senate."

My number one question: Is Bush insane to make such an appointment that could end up biting him in the ass?

But that, of course, is a rhetorical question, since knowing the answer to that question would be some scary ass shit. And knowing the answer to that question might also warrant the same repercussions if you catch the bird flu.


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