A former D.C. contracting official who claims he was unfairly fired by the city is now suing Chief Financial Officer Natwar Gandhi and the D.C. government for defamation.
Former director of contracts Eric Payne — who is already suing the city for wrongful termination — filed a second lawsuit yesterday accusing Gandhi of defaming him in a widely circulated email and in a Washington Post story in early July.
Payne was fired in 2009. He says he was terminated because he refused to go along with city officials who wanted to re-bid a lucrative lottery contract. The whole process is now being looked at by federal authorities.
Gandhi says Payne's firing had nothing to do with the lottery situation; he said in a Washington Post interview Payne was "a very poor manager." Payne is suing for $3 million. The CFO's office did not respond for comment. A hearing has been set for the fall.