A trial in the wrongful termination lawsuit linked to the District's controversial lottery contract is likely to begin in 2013.

In a Tuesday court filing, city lawyers said they were not opposed to a request from Eric Payne, a former D.C. contracting officer, to stage a trial "as early as possible in 2013."

U.S. District Court Judge Richard Roberts has not ruled on the request.

Payne sued the District after his dismissal, arguing that he was fired because he resisted political pressure to modify the city's lottery contract, which is worth tens of millions of dollars annually. District officials, though, have said they fired Payne because of poor performance.

Payne's lawsuit is not the only legal drama connected to the city's lucrative lottery deal. He has also filed a defamation suit, and federal authorities are conducting a grand jury probe of the lottery contract.

No one has been charged with wrongdoing, but the grand jury has issued subpoenas that refer to a provision of federal law banning bribery of public officials.