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Texas Lottery executive had no hint before firing

Texas LotteryTexas Lottery: Texas Lottery executive had no hint before firing

Weighing his words carefully when asked if he was the fall guy in the growing scandal over inflated Texas Lotto jackpots, Lee Deviney said only that his dismissal last month from the Texas Lottery Commission came with no prior warning.

"In any job you have good days and bad, but the majority of time I felt (my bosses) were happy with me," Deviney said by telephone Thursday while vacationing with his family in Colorado.

Happy enough, he said, that he was awarded a 4 percent raise last October and a positive evaluation.

Citing privacy issues, a spokesman for the Lottery Commission would not confirm Deviney's claims. But under sharp questioning Wednesday from a panel of lawmakers, top agency officials acknowledged that Deviney was fired without having received any written notice of substandard performance.

Already under intense fire for inflating advertised Lotto jackpots, agency officials are now under pressure to explain the decision to terminate their chief financial officer, a 17-year veteran of state government, 11 days after he alerted superiors of the problem in a June 3 e-mail and recommended they consider changing procedures.

Testifying Wednesday before the House Licensing and Procedures Committee, the commission's administrator, Mike Fernandez, called the timing of Deviney's dismissal "horrendous" and insisted it was based on poor performance and had nothing to do with the scandal enveloping the agency.

Four times since October, the commission advertised Lotto jackpots that were in some cases more than $1 million than what the agency could have paid winners. There were no winners.

Last week, Reagan Greer, the agency's executive director and a former Bexar County district clerk, acknowledged approving inflated jackpots to spark enthusiasm for a game that was waning in popularity.

He said later that he "made a mistake" by over-relying on staff recommendations and he promised to rectify the problem by ensuring better oversight and basing estimates on more conservative figures.

A June 8 shortfall prompted the agency to freeze the advertised June 11 jackpot, the first time the agency had ever done so.

The agency's three commissioners have not said whether they will seek Greer's resignation.

Their next meeting is scheduled for July 11.

Deviney, for his part, said that since he "couldn't get inside his bosses' heads," he couldn't say for sure that he was made a scapegoat.

And he certainly isn't looking to sue. Still surprised over his firing, he said he only hoped to get his reputation back and find another job.

San Antonio Express

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16 comments. Last comment 11 years ago by CASH Only.
Page 1 of 2

United States
Member #379
June 5, 2002
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Posted: July 1, 2005, 3:32 pm - IP Logged

The TX lottery has problems, but is not as corrupt as Mass or NY.

    Todd's avatar - Cylon 2.gif
    Chief Bottle Washer
    New Jersey
    United States
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    May 31, 2000
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    Posted: July 1, 2005, 3:40 pm - IP Logged

    I don't think NY Lottery is corrupt, I think they run a good operation.

     

    Check the State Lottery Report Card
    What grade did your lottery earn?

     

    Sign the Petition for True Lottery Drawings
    Help eliminate computerized drawings!


      United States
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      Posted: July 1, 2005, 3:53 pm - IP Logged

      NY is corrupt because of its annuity-only scratch games. Maybe the lottery is not at fault for its terrible Lotto payouts.

        MADDOG10's avatar - smoke
        Beautiful Florida
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        Posted: July 1, 2005, 10:56 pm - IP Logged

          sounds like another mi-lai massacre to me. what they should do is fire the whole lot of them, and start with someone who has integrity....! 

                                                     

                                                       "  When Injustice Becomes Law, Resistance Becomes Duty "

          Todd's avatar - Cylon 2.gif
          Chief Bottle Washer
          New Jersey
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          May 31, 2000
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          Posted: July 2, 2005, 7:56 am - IP Logged

          NY is corrupt because of its annuity-only scratch games. Maybe the lottery is not at fault for its terrible Lotto payouts.

          I think "corrupt" is the wrong word.  Corrupt indicates that they are intentionally seeking to undermine the public trust, but I think in the case of their annuity scratch games, they believe they're doing the right thing.

          Personally, I think you'd make more headway with a more reasoned approach.  Calling them "corrupt" will not make the NY Lottery stand up and take notice -- it will probably make them feel dismissive of you.

          Your choice.

           

          Check the State Lottery Report Card
          What grade did your lottery earn?

           

          Sign the Petition for True Lottery Drawings
          Help eliminate computerized drawings!

            Avatar
            New Mexico
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            Member #12305
            March 10, 2005
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            Posted: July 2, 2005, 8:42 am - IP Logged

            And he certainly isn't looking to sue. Still surprised over his firing, he said he only hoped to get his reputation back and find another job.

            I'd say the guy knows if he sues nobody's going to touch him with a fork when he's looking for the next job.

            top agency officials acknowledged that Deviney was fired without having received any written notice of substandard performance.

            If this is true, the guy has grounds for a lawsuit and will probably win it when the time comes.  Hiring and firing policies and procedures aren't optional in Texas State Government.  Aren't guidelines.  They're requirements. 

            Except under extraordinary circumstances, the employee has to be advised of poor performance, has to be told precisely what he's doing wrong, what needs to be done to correct it, usually 'walked down the line' with a minimum of three counseling sessions before finally being released.  All in writing, signed and acknowledged by the employee and the boss.

            I'd guess the guy has them by the short hairs and knows it, figures he's mum until he sees how the wind's blowing..... and that they'll either offer him his job back, or something quietly out of the way in another agency where he can't stir up trouble.

            Jack

             

             

             


              United States
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              Posted: July 2, 2005, 1:21 pm - IP Logged

              NY is doing the WRONG thing by making certain scratch games annuity-only. Let's say it's "unethical".

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                New Mexico
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                Posted: July 2, 2005, 1:32 pm - IP Logged

                You have some strange ideas, CO, unlike my humble self (strictly conventional, a fencewalker on almost everything).

                Corruption involves moral turpitude..  annuities don't (necessarily).  Ethics are a more complicated issue, but it takes a major stretch to wrap an issue of annuities up into a breakfast taco carrying the label 'unethical'.

                You don't like annuities.  You don't like the lousy payoffs of NY lottery.  That's legit.  But that doesn't equate to corruption, doesn't have any bearing on ethics.  It just means you don't like them.  No point allowing it to gnaw away at your guts.  Tell someone about it.  Tell US! 

                What do you think of annuities, CO?

                Jack

                 

                  LOTTOMIKE's avatar - cash money.jpg
                  Tennessee
                  United States
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                  October 15, 2004
                  11338 Posts
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                  Posted: July 2, 2005, 9:41 pm - IP Logged

                  NY is corrupt because of its annuity-only scratch games. Maybe the lottery is not at fault for its terrible Lotto payouts.

                  I think "corrupt" is the wrong word.  Corrupt indicates that they are intentionally seeking to undermine the public trust, but I think in the case of their annuity scratch games, they believe they're doing the right thing.

                  Personally, I think you'd make more headway with a more reasoned approach.  Calling them "corrupt" will not make the NY Lottery stand up and take notice -- it will probably make them feel dismissive of you.

                  Your choice.

                  it would rub them the wrong way(ny lottery) and they would probably ignore CO in the future

                    Avatar
                    New Mexico
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                    Posted: July 2, 2005, 10:13 pm - IP Logged

                    He said later that he "made a mistake" by over-relying on staff recommendations and he promised to rectify the problem by ensuring better oversight and basing estimates on more conservative figures.

                    He fired the only staff member who was pointing out the problem..... wonder what the remaining staff could have had in their heads to make them try to sing from the recommended songbook.

                    Jack


                      United States
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                      Posted: July 5, 2005, 9:39 am - IP Logged

                      Nobody's perfect.

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                        New Mexico
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                        Posted: July 5, 2005, 9:49 am - IP Logged

                        Humble of you to say so, CO.

                        J


                          United States
                          Member #379
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                          Posted: July 11, 2005, 5:08 pm - IP Logged

                          LOL

                            LOTTOMIKE's avatar - cash money.jpg
                            Tennessee
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                            October 15, 2004
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                            Posted: July 22, 2005, 8:22 am - IP Logged

                            Nobody's perfect.

                            ......,i bet you already know what i'm gonna say to that

                            I Agree!