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Sides seek more time in $700M Lottery lawsuit

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

The Florida Lottery and the House of Representatives are seeking an extension in which to settle a pending lawsuit over a $700 million contract for new equipment, court records show.

Lottery outside counsel Barry Richard and House general counsel Adam Tanenbaum asked the 1st District Court of Appeal that they “be permitted to provide another status report to the court by Oct. 31.” Last Thursday was the previous deadline for a status report.

“The parties continue to pursue good faith negotiations,” their 2-page filing says, obtained Tuesday after a public record request to the court. “Some of the issues involved necessitate additional time to work out a satisfactory resolution.

“In the meantime, the parties respectfully suggest that leaving the current stay in place will increase the likelihood of achieving that resolution.”

The appellate court, based in Tallahassee, had agreed to suspend the case while the sides work out their differences.

“If the case has not been dismissed” by the end of August, the parties had to report whether they see a “need for any further proceedings,” according to a docket entry.

In March, Tallahassee-based Circuit Judge Karen Gievers invalidated the Lottery’s 15-year deal with IGT (International Game Technology), OK’d by former Secretary Tom Delacenserie, for new equipment for draw and scratch-off tickets.

Delacenserie has since quit to head the Kentucky Lottery and was replaced by former Department of Economic Opportunity chief of staff Jim Poppell. 

The contract also provided for in-store signage, self-service ticket checkers and would upgrade security in the communications network.

House Speaker Richard Corcoran sued, essentially saying the agency went on an illegal spending spree when it inked the contract last year.

Before joining Florida Politics, journalist and attorney James Rosica was state government reporter for The Tampa Tribune. He attended journalism school in Washington, D.C., working at dailies and weekly papers in Philadelphia after graduation. Rosica joined the Tallahassee Democrat in 1997, later moving to the courts beat, where he reported on the 2000 presidential recount. In 2005, Rosica left journalism to attend law school in Philadelphia, afterwards working part time for a public-interest law firm. Returning to writing, he covered three legislative sessions in Tallahassee for The Associated Press, before joining the Tribune’s re-opened Tallahassee bureau in 2013. He can be reached at [email protected]

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