GTECH, under pressure from Senate Judiciary Committee attorneys, has agreed to release Larry Littwin from his gag order, opening the way for him to work with the committee staff and prepare for public testimony in the upcoming Miers confirmation hearings.
Littwin, the controversial former director of the Texas Lottery, was hired and fired by Harriet Miers and the Texas Lottery Commission in a whirlwind five-month period in 1997, from June to October.
WND previously has reported that Littwin was fired because he wanted to investigate seriously improper political influence-buying undertaken by GTECH lobbyists, including Ben Barnes, the former Texas lieutenant governor who is credited with having pulled strings to get George W. Bush into the Texas Air National Guard during the Vietnam War.
Littwin also wanted to reopen the GTECH contract for competitive bid. GTECH has held the operating contract on the Texas Lottery since the lottery began in 1991.
Barnes gave a five-hour deposition when Littwin sued GTECH over losing his job as executive director of the Lottery. GTECH settled with Littwin for $300,000, under the condition that he destroy all documents pertaining to the litigation, including the Barnes deposition.
Until now, Littwin has been under a gag order as part of his “negotiated settlement” with GTECH, under which he would suffer a $50,000 penalty if he discussed openly any details of his Texas Lottery employment.
Today’s decision by GTECH releases Littwin so he now is free to talk with Senate Judiciary Committee staff, including giving public testimony during Miers’ confirmation hearings. Insiders following the Texas Lottery Commission scandals believe that Littwin’s testimony is potentially explosive.
Littwin, according to hundreds of Texas contemporary newspaper accounts examined by WND, will be able to establish under oath that the GTECH contract was preserved on a no-bid basis by then-chairwoman of the Lottery Commission Harrier Miers in order to “keep the lid on” the National Guard controversy involving then-Gov. Bush. Rumors are circulating that influence-peddling crimes, including money laundering, may yet remain to be prosecuted.
Senate Judiciary Committee leadership has pledged to investigate fully Miers’ background and qualifications for a lifetime appointment as Associate Supreme Court Justice.