Chon Gutierrez, a longtime state official who has headed the California Lottery and the Department of Motor Vehicles, announced his retirement Thursday after more than 34 years in state government.
In a letter to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Gutierrez, 60, said he was stepping down immediately from his current post as acting lottery director.
"From my perspective, how is the perfect time for me to finally retire," he said in a statement.
Gutierrez was director of the lottery from 1987 to 1991. He has served as acting lottery director since last year.
He has also served as interim director of the Department of Motor Vehicles, co-director of Schwarzenegger's review of state agencies, undersecretary of the Youth and Adult Correctional Agency, deputy director of the Department of Finance and chief assistant secretary of state.
In Gutierrez's latest stint as lottery director, the lottery joined the multi-state Mega Millions lotto game, despite an opinion from the Legislature's attorneys questioning whether the move was legal.
Gambling opponents filed a lawsuit last month attempting to force California to drop out of the game.
Sen. Dean Florez, D-Shafter, has introduced redundant legislation to clarify that the lottery can join a multi-state lottery as long as the games are not played internationally and do not involve slot machines or Internet gambling.
A spokeswoman for Schwarzenegger, Julie Soderlund, said the governor's office is conducting a nationwide search for a new lottery director and will appoint an acting director in the meantime.