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Arkansas Lottery fires second VP

Arkansas LotteryArkansas Lottery: Arkansas Lottery fires second VP
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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — The Arkansas Lottery has fired the last of three top officials brought in to launch the games two years ago, and the lottery commission's chairwoman called the move an opportunity for change.

Ernestine Middleton, the lottery vice president for administration, was fired Wednesday — two days after the resignations of embattled director Ernie Passailaigue and another vice president, David Barden. Passailaigue announced last month he would be leaving, but Barden and Middleton had said they wanted to keep their jobs.

Passailaigue, the former director of South Carolina's lottery, brought Middleton and Barden with him to start the Arkansas games, which have funded more than 60,000 scholarships over the last two years. But the trio's work was often overshadowed by a series of problems and complaints about how the games were managed.

"At this time, we're moving forward," said lottery chief legal counsel Bishop Woosley, who confirmed Middleton's firing to The Associated Press. "We feel like we're prepared to do whatever it is to continue to operate the lottery."

Woosley said Interim director Julie Baldridge fired Middleton, who won't receive a severance payment or any benefits besides salary accrued before Wednesday. Baldridge referred questions to Woosley, who declined to comment on why Middleton was fired.

Lottery Commission Chairwoman Dianne Lamberth also declined to provide details, saying she respected and accepted Baldridge's decision. Lamberth said it was "normal to be concerned" by the loss of leadership, "but it is also important to remember that with change comes opportunity."

Middleton did not return phone messages left at her Little Rock home.

Arkansas voters approved a constitutional amendment in 2008 that allowed the state to sell lottery tickets to raise money for college scholarships. Lawmakers and commissioners have praised Passailaigue for the quick startup of the lottery, but he faced scrutiny about the games' management.

A legislative audit last year revealed the lottery was unable to provide year-end financial statements in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles. The agency also could not provide documentation for lodging costs and other travel.

It was revealed last month that the lottery owed nearly $100,000 to the Internal Revenue Service in penalties and interest for late deposits. The lottery has appealed to the IRS to waive the penalties.

Passailaigue also took criticism for his salary of more than $324,000. Barden and Middleton both made about $225,000.

Lamberth and lawmakers have said they expect Passailaigue's successor will receive a lower salary.

Democratic Rep. Barry Hyde of North Little Rock, a member of the Arkansas Lottery Commission Legislative Oversight Committee, said he was concerned that all three departed so quickly, especially if it takes several months to replace Passailaigue. The lottery relies more heavily on its top managers than most state agencies, Hyde said.

"This is a half-a-billion a year retail operation that was specifically designed and set up as much like a private enterprise as state law allows," he said in an interview. "About the last thing in the world I would want to do is to lose all three of my top managers in such a short time."

Lamberth would not say when the lottery commission expects to hire a director.

"I am prepared to take as long as necessary to ensure the right person is selected for the job," she said.

AP

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11 comments. Last comment 5 years ago by sully16.
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Todd's avatar - Cylon 2.gif
Chief Bottle Washer
New Jersey
United States
Member #1
May 31, 2000
23277 Posts
Online
Posted: October 7, 2011, 6:59 am - IP Logged

Maybe they could hire someone who will focus on the games and building more player-base excitement.  Like perhaps starting off by building an event around the switch to real lottery drawings.

 

Check the State Lottery Report Card
What grade did your lottery earn?

 

Sign the Petition for True Lottery Drawings
Help eliminate computerized drawings!

    Avatar
    Orlando, FL
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    Member #115785
    August 28, 2011
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    Posted: October 7, 2011, 10:34 am - IP Logged

    Party

      TnTicketlosers's avatar - Lottery-065.jpg

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      February 19, 2009
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      Posted: October 7, 2011, 10:57 am - IP Logged

      They come on east and clean house.

        rdgrnr's avatar - walt
        Way back up in them dadgum hills, son!
        United States
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        April 28, 2009
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        Posted: October 7, 2011, 11:02 am - IP Logged

        Maybe they could hire someone who will focus on the games and building more player-base excitement.  Like perhaps starting off by building an event around the switch to real lottery drawings.

        It would be great if they started with that premise and hired someone to carry it out instead of getting someone who's just going to do the same old computer draws for a lower salary.


                                                     
                             
                                                 

         

         

         

         

                                                                                                           

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

                                                                                                    --Edmund Burke

         

         


          United States
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          March 25, 2011
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          Posted: October 7, 2011, 12:32 pm - IP Logged

          kudos to arkansas for getting rid of these So Carolina hacks. what took them so long to do it. I will never figure out why they hired them in the 1st place. You could pull anyone off the street and run a lottery and pay them maybe 25K a year. Now, South Carolina should ban these 3 from taking up residence back there unless they don't apply for a job that someone else deserves.

            ressuccess's avatar - Lottery-043.jpg

            United States
            Member #93164
            June 23, 2010
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            Posted: October 7, 2011, 3:33 pm - IP Logged

            Ouch! I didn't know why the vice president of Arkansas Lottery got fired.

              temptustoo's avatar - cat anm.gif
              usa
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              April 2, 2010
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              Posted: October 7, 2011, 3:40 pm - IP Logged

              LOL   K A R M A  !!!!!  Finally came around ROFL

                Todd's avatar - Cylon 2.gif
                Chief Bottle Washer
                New Jersey
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                May 31, 2000
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                Online
                Posted: October 7, 2011, 3:47 pm - IP Logged

                Interestingly, if you click the link in the Related Stories box above for the June 18, 2009 story about the director being hired, you will see nothing but positive comments from Lottery Post members about him.

                Hopefully any lottery director considering changing over to computerized drawings will notice the complete shift in player attitude and immediate evaporation of good will that accompanies that decision.

                 

                Check the State Lottery Report Card
                What grade did your lottery earn?

                 

                Sign the Petition for True Lottery Drawings
                Help eliminate computerized drawings!

                  dpoly1's avatar - driver
                  PA
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                  October 16, 2008
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                  Posted: October 8, 2011, 11:59 am - IP Logged

                  Powermillions tonite !!!!!!!!!!!

                  Dance

                    rdgrnr's avatar - walt
                    Way back up in them dadgum hills, son!
                    United States
                    Member #73904
                    April 28, 2009
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                    Posted: October 8, 2011, 4:09 pm - IP Logged

                    "Passailaigue (pronounced Pass'-a-laig) is a past president of the North American Association of State and Provincial Lotteries, a lottery trade organization."

                     

                    One thing is for sure: He'll never be able to get a job at KFC with that name. It'd just cause too much dadgum confusion.


                                                                 
                                         
                                                             

                     

                     

                     

                     

                                                                                                                       

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

                                                                                                                --Edmund Burke

                     

                     

                      sully16's avatar - sharan
                      Ringleader
                      Michigan
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                      October 28, 2009
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                      Online
                      Posted: October 9, 2011, 10:28 am - IP Logged

                      "Passailaigue (pronounced Pass'-a-laig) is a past president of the North American Association of State and Provincial Lotteries, a lottery trade organization."

                       

                      One thing is for sure: He'll never be able to get a job at KFC with that name. It'd just cause too much dadgum confusion.

                      LOL, PASS THE TATERS. please,

                      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"