North Carolina Governor Mike Easley says he thinks North Carolina's new and beleaguered lottery can overcome recent setbacks that led to a criminal investigation over alleged lobbying violations.
Easley told reporters this morning that an appointed commission can lead the troubled numbers game out of its current problems. The governor says, "You can focus on the bumps or you can focus on the road. I intend to focus myself on the road."
Since Easley signed the lottery into law in August, two members of the new lottery commission have stepped down. One cited time and health constraints, and another resigned hours before it was revealed he had done work for a potential lottery vendor.
A woman nominated for the commission withdrew her name on the same day she was selected, citing a potential conflict of interest.
Investigators are examining the influence of a potential lottery vendor and some of its workers, as well as those workers' connections to House Speaker Jim Black.