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Arkansas Lottery VPs hope to stay after director leaves

Arkansas LotteryArkansas Lottery: Arkansas Lottery VPs hope to stay after director leaves

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Arkansas Lottery Director Ernie Passailaigue is moving on, but the two top executives he brought with him from South Carolina say they hope to stay put.

Soon after Passailaigue left his job as director of South Carolina’s lottery to become director of the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery in the summer of 2009, he hired two South Carolina lottery officials, David Barden and Ernestine Middleton, to be his vice presidents in Arkansas at nearly $100,000 more than their salaries back home.

On Monday, the Arkansas Lottery Commission accepted Passailaigue’s resignation, effective Oct. 7.

“I’m not planning to go anywhere,” Barden, the lottery’s vice president of gaming operations, said today.

Barden, who was director of product marketing and development under Passailaigue in South Carolina, said he is happy where he is.

“The longer I’m here, the more I enjoy it. I like being here,” he said.

Ernestine Middleton, the Arkansas lottery’s vice president of administration and the former director of internal operations for South Carolina’s lottery, said she has “no plans of leaving.”

“My church is here, I’m on the United Way board, I’m part of organizations, I’ve got friends here,” she said.

Ultimately, it will be up to Passailaigue’s successor to say whether they can stay. Lottery commissioners say they will launch a search soon for the next director.

“These positions are at-will positions, so I guess a lot will be determined by who comes in,” Barden said.

Barden and Middleton received annual salaries of $133,038 and $143,923, respectively, in their South Carolina jobs. Passailaigue hired them each at $225,000 a year in July 2009, and they now make $225,655.

The six-figure salaries Passailaigue awarded to Barden, Middleton and other lottery officials have drawn some criticism. Passailaigue has defended their pay, saying that he could have hired less experienced people at lower salaries, but as a startup — the first games launched in September 2009 — the lottery needed administrators with experience in the industry.

Some criticism also attended the $324,000 salary at which the Lottery Commission hired Passailaigue in 2009 — his current salary is $326,832 — and Passailaigue went on to be at the center of a string of controversies during his tumultuous two years at the lottery’s helm.

Among other things, Passailaigue came under fire for awarding compensatory time to himself and other non-eligible employees, for an audit report that cited numerous problems with the lottery’s management and accounting practices and for a $100,000 penalty from the IRS for overdue taxes. The lottery is appealing the penalty.

But Passailaigue also has been praised for launching a program that is helping tens of thousands of Arkansans attend college. More than 30,000 students received lottery-funded scholarships in the 2010-11 school year.

Gov. Mike Beebe and some lottery commissioners have said the next director should be paid less to take over a running lottery than Passailaigue was to start one from scratch.

Arkansas News Bureau

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8 comments. Last comment 5 years ago by MADDOG10.
Page 1 of 1
rdgrnr's avatar - walt
Way back up in them dadgum hills, son!
United States
Member #73904
April 28, 2009
14903 Posts
Offline
Posted: September 20, 2011, 10:35 pm - IP Logged

He needed to offer bigger salaries to get experienced people to help with the startup, he said.

So he called up a couple of his cronies from SC and asked if they would please come if he gave them humongous raises.

It was so nice of them to come.

And now they want to stay.

At salaries most lottery top dogs don't get.

Such loyalty.


                                             
                     
                                         

 

 

 

 

                                                                                                   

"The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing"

                                                                                            --Edmund Burke

 

 


    United States
    Member #108380
    March 25, 2011
    505 Posts
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    Posted: September 20, 2011, 11:16 pm - IP Logged

    sorry, but barden and middleton have to go and arkansas residents must be given their jobs at lower salaries, but i'm sure they can find someone to come in at about 60K apiece seems  like a fair wage. these SC hacks bled the state for enough already and now it's time to leave tornado alley for hurricane alley back in SC. maybe they can become greenskeepers on Hilton Head Is.

      sully16's avatar - sharan
      Ringleader
      Michigan
      United States
      Member #81740
      October 28, 2009
      40611 Posts
      Offline
      Posted: September 20, 2011, 11:26 pm - IP Logged

      This is like a soap opera, Luke and Laura in there somewhere ?

      Did you exchange a walk on part in the war ?

      For a lead role in a cage?

       

                                                  From Pink Floyd's " Wish you were here"

        Avatar
        Orlando, FL
        United States
        Member #115785
        August 28, 2011
        259 Posts
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        Posted: September 21, 2011, 7:17 am - IP Logged

        Overpaid, IMO

          rdgrnr's avatar - walt
          Way back up in them dadgum hills, son!
          United States
          Member #73904
          April 28, 2009
          14903 Posts
          Offline
          Posted: September 21, 2011, 11:51 pm - IP Logged

          This is like a soap opera, Luke and Laura in there somewhere ?

          Luke and Laura would probably do a better job.

          I'd even take the job if Laura was my secretary. Naughty


                                                       
                               
                                                   

           

           

           

           

                                                                                                             

          "The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing"

                                                                                                      --Edmund Burke

           

           

            Avatar

            United States
            Member #111186
            May 20, 2011
            344 Posts
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            Posted: September 22, 2011, 6:06 pm - IP Logged

            This is like a soap opera, Luke and Laura in there somewhere ?

            LoL, I used to watch that back in the day....

              rdgrnr's avatar - walt
              Way back up in them dadgum hills, son!
              United States
              Member #73904
              April 28, 2009
              14903 Posts
              Offline
              Posted: September 22, 2011, 8:30 pm - IP Logged

              LoL, I used to watch that back in the day....

              LOL, all wimmins did, Cash.

              At least all of my wives did.


                                                           
                                   
                                                       

               

               

               

               

                                                                                                                 

              "The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing"

                                                                                                          --Edmund Burke

               

               

                MADDOG10's avatar - smoke
                Beautiful Florida
                United States
                Member #5709
                July 18, 2004
                20126 Posts
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                Posted: September 22, 2011, 9:17 pm - IP Logged

                This is becoming to look like a " Forrest Gump" rerun every time I read it..!

                                                             

                                                               "  When Injustice Becomes Law, Resistance Becomes Duty "