LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — The top fiscal officer for the Arkansas lottery, who was criticized by some lawmakers and lottery commissioners following an important audit, has resigned.
A resignation letter from lottery controller Philip Miley says he and his wife have decided to return home. Miley was controller for Regional Health Care Holding Inc., a subsidiary of St. Bernard's Health Care of Jonesboro, from 1997 to 2008.
Miley, who has worked for the lottery since July 2009, did not return messages seeking comment. His resignation is effective Sept. 9.
Lottery Commissioner Bruce Engstrom told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette that he doesn't know why Miley resigned but he should never have been hired. Engstrom said the resignation allows the commission to search for an employee with the knowledge and skills needed to prepare financial statements in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles for governmental entities.
"To me, it is kind of like a no-brainer," Engstrom said.
Miley was criticized by some lawmakers and lottery commissioners after a state auditor told lawmakers in November that it appeared lottery staff members didn't know how to prepare the lottery's year-end financial statements in accordance with accounting principles required by state law.
Still, state Sen. Johnny Key, co-chairman of the Legislature's lottery oversight committee, said he was surprised by the resignation.
"We have kind of gone to great lengths to get him back to a CPA status (after Miley's certification lapsed)," he said. "The state was picking up the tab for it."
The lottery commission earlier this month approved a contract with an Irving, Texas-based firm for up to $55,000 to produce a comprehensive financial report, a move that drew criticism from state Rep. Johnnie Roebuck, who sponsored a new law requiring the lottery to produce such a report.
Roebuck said the lottery's existing staff should have and could have been able to do the work if the staff initially hired had the proper credentials.
Roebuck declined to comment on Miley's resignation.