LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Anonymous complaints about personnel issues have prompted the Arkansas Lottery Commission to request a review of the lottery's human resources policies and salary structure.
The nine-member commission voted today to ask the state Office of Personnel Management to conduct the review. Commissioner Joe White of Conway, whose motion to seek the review was unanimously adopted, told reporters that anonymous letters sent to the commission and state legislators had raised questions he wanted answered.
"I think it's an opportunity for us to get a third-party, objective analysis of it," White said. "That was an anonymous letter, but quite honestly, yes, that sparked some questions from me."
Members of the Lottery Commission and the legislative oversight committee on the lottery recently received at least two letters purporting to be from lottery employees, though no names were attached.
Both letters complained that the lottery's vice president of administration, Ernestine Middleton, unfairly applied different rules to different employees.
The letters alleged that some employees were assigned more duties than others making the same pay, and some received raises and promotions while others who were equally deserving were promised raises or promotions but never received them.
Middleton formerly served as director of internal operations for South Carolina's lottery and is one of several employees hired from that state by Arkansas Lottery Director Ernie Passailaigue, former director of South Carolina's lottery. Middleton said today she did not wish to comment on the anonymous complaints.
The commission met in executive session for a little over two hours today before deciding to request the review. White's motion was approved without discussion.