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Texas Lottery looking at all possibilities for Director Position

Texas LotteryTexas Lottery: Texas Lottery looking at all possibilities for Director Position
In a gesture of openness, Texas Lottery commissioners announced Monday that, for the first time, a committee of state officials and private citizens outside the lottery will help find the agency's next leader.

The commission accepted the resignation of former executive director Reagan Greer, who announced his departure Friday, two weeks after he admitted approving several inflated Lotto Texas jackpot estimates recommended by his staff.

Commissioners named Greer's former deputy and longtime lottery employee Gary Grief as acting executive director while they advertise the position to lead the $3.5 billion state agency.

Commission Chairman Tom Clowe, mindful of criticisms that the lottery's culture is closed, stressed that the search will involve outsiders whose sole mission will be finding the most qualified applicants for the three-member lottery commission to consider. But the commission will make the final decision on a new executive director.

"What we want is a broad involvement of people who are interested in the lottery to participate, and that's a first," Clowe said. "To me, that represents a change in the culture and an outreach to people who want to be involved and say they'd like to make it a better operation."

Clowe said the search for the new executive director will "cast a wide net" and that its goal will be to "reach for excellence and find someone who is qualified, experienced and will do an outstanding job."

Grief is only allowed to serve as acting director for six months, Clowe said, and a decision should be made on Greer's replacement before then.

Clowe said he supported Grief for acting director because he believed him to be the most qualified. But lottery watchdogs, including a lawmaker, and several former employees, disagreed with the decision.

Some say Grief should have lost his job as well because a staffer notified him last month that Lotto sales would fall short of the June 8 estimated jackpot, but Grief failed to act.

Greer said he signed off on a form recommending an $8 million jackpot because he trusted his staff to recommend the right amount and didn't notice another spot on the form that estimated Lotto sales at only $6.5 million.

Clowe noted Monday that it wasn't Grief's responsibility to oversee the estimate. But critics say he could have done something to prevent an overstated jackpot to be advertised.

Ned Anderson, a former lottery investigator who lost his job in a November reorganization, said Grief is part of the institutional problems at the agency and is the wrong choice to lead it during a crisis.

"It's a bad thing," Anderson said. "I think that what they've done is they haven't really improved the problem at all."

And Rep. Ismael "Kino" Flores, who chairs the House committee that oversees the lottery, said the commission should take a closer look at support staffers who have been a "common denominator" in the troubled agency, including Grief. "They should be held responsible as well," Flores, D-Palmville, said.

Dawn Nettles, a lottery watchdog who helped expose the inflated jackpots, agreed.

"My hope is they figure they're going to hire somebody who's going to come in and fire everybody else," she said.

Clowe said commissioners only have the authority to hire and fire the executive director and can't "reach into the organization" and discipline others.

Besides, he said, the work culture in most cases is established by the agency's leader.

Still, Clowe commended the former executive director for requesting an outside audit of the lottery's November reorganization, which involved gutting its security division and firing some well-regarded employees.

Meanwhile, the commission put off voting on proposed rule changes involving Lotto Texas jackpot estimates. The proposals are intended to be short-term fixes to deal with the slumping sales of the Texas Lottery's flagship game.

Houston Chronicle

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7 comments. Last comment 11 years ago by CASH Only.
Page 1 of 1
United States
Member #1424
April 25, 2003
696 Posts
Posted: July 12, 2005, 11:21 pm - IP Logged

Texas needs to clean house and start over with new people.  Letting Grief and others hang on is not the answer.  They are part of the problem because they actually run the show on a year by year basis.

No matter who is on top, these clowns are the ones who call the shots because they allegedly have experience.  Does "experience"  cheating lottery players out of their hard-earned money qualify you to keep your job at TLC? 

Maybe we should hire criminals to enforce the laws because they have experience breaking the law.  Wait!  That's been done, hasn't it?

Orangeman                                            Dunk

    LANTERN's avatar - kilroy 28_173_reasonably_small.jpg
    United States
    Member #4570
    May 4, 2004
    5180 Posts
    Posted: July 14, 2005, 7:13 pm - IP Logged

    I got this from the Tx Lottery:

    Thanks for contacting us. We realize that sales for Lotto Texas® have not been as
    strong lately as in the past. There are a number of reasons for this. We've conducted
    extensive player research recently on several possible changes to the game. If a
    rule change is proposed for Lotto Texas, we'll have that information on our Web
    site, along with information about how the public can comment on the proposed change.

    Thanks for contacting us.

    I sent to them an angry letter, same as always (I don't want to post that of course).

    I have not known of any player research myself, but I sure tell them what I think of them and their lottery games.

    As always, they try to be polite in spite of my nasty letters, not that it does them any good.

    Let us ask for a 6/49 Texas lotto and a pick 4 game also.


    BibleOnline  ParishesOnline  ChristianRadioOnline   MassOnline   Mass

    "Ten measures of beauty descended to the world, nine were taken by Jerusalem."

      Pair King's avatar - animaniacs37
      Dallas Texas
      United States
      Member #18154
      July 6, 2005
      185 Posts
      Posted: July 14, 2005, 7:25 pm - IP Logged

      I Agree!....With those guys.......Texas is begining to screw up....Do your research most of the crooks are the ones with all the power....

      First you get the money ...Than you get the power...The rest is all on you...

        LOTTOMIKE's avatar - cash money.jpg
        United States
        Member #7853
        October 15, 2004
        11338 Posts
        Posted: July 15, 2005, 7:54 am - IP Logged

        they need all new people to run the texas lottery....

          LOTTOMIKE's avatar - cash money.jpg
          United States
          Member #7853
          October 15, 2004
          11338 Posts
          Posted: July 30, 2005, 3:01 am - IP Logged

          power tends to corrupt....

            LOTTOMIKE's avatar - cash money.jpg
            United States
            Member #7853
            October 15, 2004
            11338 Posts
            Posted: July 30, 2005, 3:03 am - IP Logged

            if anything watch closely in the next few months for them to sneak in the computerized drawings.that would be the final cruel blow.....

              United States
              Member #379
              June 5, 2002
              11296 Posts
              Posted: August 5, 2005, 10:22 am - IP Logged

              Mass & NY run the most corrupt lotteries.