LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Arkansas law "expressly prohibits" the use of a multiplier in determining the state lottery director's salary for retirement purposes, Attorney General Dustin McDaniel said in an opinion Monday.
Lottery Director Ernie Passailaigue's base salary is $141,603 a year, but the Lottery Commission has been paying him $324,000 a year thanks to an optional multiplier included in the state's lottery law. His retirement benefits have been based on the $324,000 figure, not his base salary.
Sen. Bobby Glover, D-Carlisle, and Rep. Johnny Hoyt, D-Morrilton, asked McDaniel whether the practice was legal. McDaniel said in his opinion today that the lottery director's multiplier "may not be used in calculating salary for retirement purposes."
Rep. Barry Hyde, D-North Little Rock, has filed House Bill 1302, which would amend the lottery law to prohibit the use of a multiplier in determining a lottery employee's salary for retirement purposes, among other changes. The bill has been assigned to the House Rules Committee.