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N.C. Lottery commissioner resigns

North Carolina LotteryNorth Carolina Lottery: N.C. Lottery commissioner resigns

One of the state's nine lottery commissioners resigned abruptly Tuesday, saying other commitments mean he cannot be effective in overseeing North Carolina's $1.2 billion-a-year gambling operation.

The departure comes as the board is set to meet today to consider a new ethics code aimed at ensuring public confidence in the lottery that includes stricter rules than lawmakers put in place.

Malachi J. Greene, a former Charlotte City Council member, said in a resignation letter that he doesn't have time for the job and must step down.

Greene, who was appointed to the panel by Senate leader Marc Basnight, had spoken forcefully at the commission's first meeting about the need for integrity in the lottery. Greene could not be reached for comment.

The resignation is the latest twist in the early work to start the state's lottery, which was approved in tight votes by the House and Senate and signed into law by Gov. Mike Easley on Aug. 31.

Another commissioner, Kevin Geddings of Charlotte, has been the focus of ethical questions because of his personal and business ties to an official with lottery company Scientific Games, which is expected to seek the job of operating the scratch-off ticket and numbers games.

Geddings, who was appointed by House Speaker Jim Black, has said he will not vote on vendor contracts. That led the state Republican Party to call for his resignation.

A Black spokeswoman, Julie Robinson, said Tuesday the speaker is having discussions with others, including Easley, about Geddings' role.

"Anything's possible," she said, "but nothing has been decided."

Geddings said again Tuesday that he does not plan to step aside.

The N.C. Board of Ethics issued a letter this month noting that Geddings has a potential conflict of interest as a commissioner.

Perry Y. Newson, the board's executive director, said Geddings should not vote on gaming vendors. Newson said in an interview that Geddings also should not try to influence the outcome of a decision on vendors. Geddings said he won't.

The ethics board also identified Gordon Myers of the Asheville area, another Black appointee, as having a potential conflict of interest because Myers has a financial stake in the Ingles supermarket chain, which might sell lottery tickets.

Myers, a former Ingles executive, has already said he will not speak privately with any potential lottery contractor. He told the ethics board he would not participate in any votes that could involve his former employer.

Myers is on the lottery commission because lawmakers specified that one member must have retailing experience.

The ethics board did not identify potential conflicts for the remaining six commissioners. But the board noted that one, Linda Carlisle of Greensboro, is a bank director and might face an ethics question if the commission seeks to contract with a private financial institution.

Under the new ethics code being considered today, commissioners and their immediate family members would be prevented from accepting anything of value from lottery interests, including gifts, meals, travel or entertainment.

Commissioners also would be required to have "material communications" with contractors or potential contractors only in public meetings.

Commissioners would be "specifically discouraged" from having individual contact with lottery interests.

If adopted, the code would be stronger than rules put in place by the legislature, which specified that commissioners and family members not receive gifts or anything else valued at more than $100 a year from contractors, retailers or those seeking lottery business.

Food and beverages were excluded.

Charles Sanders of Durham, the commission's chairman, has made a priority of ensuring that the board conducts its business openly and transparently.

He said the code would be a good first step.

News & Observer

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9 comments. Last comment 11 years ago by CASH Only.
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wpb's avatar - DiscoBallGlowing
Charlotte North Carolina
United States
Member #464
July 9, 2002
17392 Posts
Offline
Posted: October 26, 2005, 11:57 am - IP Logged

I really hate to see Green step down and I think the point about Meyers having a stake in a supermarket is a little over kill.  Next they will be looking at anyone that have ever bought a lotter ticket.

wpb

    Tenaj's avatar - michellea
    Charlotte NC
    United States
    Member #17406
    June 18, 2005
    4053 Posts
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    Posted: October 26, 2005, 12:14 pm - IP Logged

    Thud

    takeemtothebank

      Tenaj's avatar - michellea
      Charlotte NC
      United States
      Member #17406
      June 18, 2005
      4053 Posts
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      Posted: October 26, 2005, 12:45 pm - IP Logged

      I really hate to see Green step down and I think the point about Meyers having a stake in a supermarket is a little over kill.  Next they will be looking at anyone that have ever bought a lotter ticket.

      BashIt's payback for sneaking in the lottery when members were absent.  I can't believe the FBI is gathering files on Jim Black and several commissioners.  I wouldn't be surprise if the lawsuit some Charlotte leaders were planning was to surface.  Might I add that the protesters are some of the biggest landlords.  We'll talking old money.

      I'm disappointed in Malachi.  I thought he was smarter than that.  What made him think that integrity was anything other than a word in today's money making society? 

      Integrity is the same as justice.  I used to tell my children ...have integrity and give yourseIf justice because you'll be disappointed if you expect it from others.

      If Malachi didn't know that I'm glad he stepped down.  I hope anybody else who wants to step down, or have any other problems to do it now and get the ball rolling.

      takeemtothebank

        Ladyluck2005's avatar - underground
        Denver, CO
        United States
        Member #13465
        April 6, 2005
        68 Posts
        Offline
        Posted: October 26, 2005, 11:45 pm - IP Logged

        The ethics board also identified Gordon Myers of the Asheville area, another Black appointee, as having a potential conflict of interest because Myers has a financial stake in the Ingles supermarket chain, which might sell lottery tickets.

        Myers, a former Ingles executive, has already said he will not speak privately with any potential lottery contractor. He told the ethics board he would not participate in any votes that could involve his former employer.

        Myers is on the lottery commission because lawmakers specified that one member must have retailing experience.

        So they pick someone who worked at Ingles???  Please, Ingles doesn't even sell Beer & they might sell Lotto tickets?!  Whats wrong with that picture? 

        Ladyluck2005

        Blue Angel

        Carpe Diem

          othertrucker's avatar - rage
          Washington North Carolina
          United States
          Member #14173
          April 22, 2005
          22 Posts
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          Posted: October 27, 2005, 7:24 am - IP Logged

          North Carolina will find a way to convince all other states that have a lottery to stop selling lottery tickets. Then North Carolina will not have to deal with a scandal. It's their "easy button". 

            Todd's avatar - Cylon 2.gif
            Chief Bottle Washer
            New Jersey
            United States
            Member #1
            May 31, 2000
            23277 Posts
            Online
            Posted: October 27, 2005, 11:45 am - IP Logged

            A message to the N.C. lottery commissioners:

            Don't go overboard responding to all these noisy arguments and complaints from anti-lottery people and/or social engineering types.

            There is going to be a lot of heat surrounding your new lottery for the next year, and you're just going to have to live with it.

            The worst thing you can do is to overreact to these loudmouths and know-it-alls, and screw up the guidelines or rules.  It is very hard to later "undo" any rules you put in place to placate these people.

            Just forge ahead and do your best job.  Trust me, a year or two down the road, all the heat you're taking now will cool down, and you'll be glad you didn't do anything rash.

            Hopefully when you met with Rebecca Paul yesterday she imparted this kind of wisdom.  Trust me, she took enromous heat from the press and special interest groups when she started the lottery in Tennessee.  She was put under a microsope.  But she just shouldered the heat and plowed ahead, and now her organization is a model for others to follow.

            That's being a leader.

            Good luck to you all.  If you're seeking advice on something, feel free to drop me a note.

             

            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
              Member #379
              June 5, 2002
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              Posted: October 27, 2005, 4:28 pm - IP Logged

              I guess now Mr Greene is the Harriet Miers of the NC Lottery.

                Todd's avatar - Cylon 2.gif
                Chief Bottle Washer
                New Jersey
                United States
                Member #1
                May 31, 2000
                23277 Posts
                Online
                Posted: October 27, 2005, 8:48 pm - IP Logged

                Actually, Mr. Greene resigned first, so Harriet Miers is the Mr. Greene of the Supreme Court. LOL Yes Nod

                 

                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
                  Member #379
                  June 5, 2002
                  11296 Posts
                  Offline
                  Posted: October 29, 2005, 11:34 am - IP Logged

                  Actually, Mr. Greene resigned first, so Harriet Miers is the Mr. Greene of the Supreme Court. LOL Yes Nod

                  Yeah, but who will remember Mr Greene next week?