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Arizona Lottery director resigns amid controversy

Arizona LotteryArizona Lottery: Arizona Lottery director resigns amid controversy

Arizona Lottery Director Tony Bouie has resigned his post in Gov. Doug Ducey's administration amid controversy and concerns about his management of the department.

Kevin Donnellan, the deputy director of the Department of Administration and a policy advisor to Ducey, has been named interim director. 

Bouie submitted his resignation around 5 p.m. Wednesday, according to a Human Resources letter.

Daniel Scarpinato, Ducey's spokesman, confirmed the resignation, saying, "In discussing these recent issues with Director Bouie, the director and the administration agreed this would be a distraction, so in the best interest of the state, Director Bouie has stepped down."

Scarpinato would not elaborate on those issues, citing legal and personnel issues.

But a recent Phoenix New Times article detailed Bouie's use of a state car to transport one or more of his children, although Bouie told the publication it was "absolutely not true I'm using it for personal use."

In recent months, Bouie critics have raised questions about his management of the Lottery department, including his hiring practices, agreements with sports teams or event organizers for seats or lofts and spending to redecorate areas of the department.

A statement from Bouie about his tenure did not offer details about his resignation. But, he said, "There is much more to this story than is being told. I have followed the rules that I was trained on."

He touted his tenure, citing his successes. "We generated an increase in sales and net profits for our beneficiaries," he wrote. "We refocused the Lottery on its original mission statement. The financial results are undeniable and are a benefit for the state."

On Thursday afternoon, Bouie was scheduled to meet with Sen. Kimberly Yee, R-Phoenix, to discuss his performance. She had heard concerns about his management and wanted to speak to him directly about his year on the job.

Yee chairs the Commerce and Workforce Development Committee. The committee did not confirm his appointment last year and was to reconsider it within a few weeks. Appointees can serve a year without being confirmed.

Yee said it is her practice to interview appointees and follow up on constituent questions before committee hearings, which are public. She had numerous conversations with Ducey staffers about her concerns and credits her research into Bouie for his resignation.

Yee said allies of Ducey and Bouie have been advocating for Bouie's confirmation as recently as two days ago.

"There were a number of individuals calling connected to the Governor's Office or Tony Bouie himself calling to advocate, which was unique," she said. "I don't get that kind of thing with other directors who come before this committee."

Most recently, Yee raised concerns about the Lottery department's purchase of a season suite at the Arizona Cardinals stadium and a tent at the Phoenix Open.

"I was looking forward to meeting him, talking about his year on the job and his performance," Yee said. "The abrupt cancellation was clearly a surprise by me."

Donnellan said he will evaluate the Lottery department in coming months.

"As I transition over to the Lottery, my main directive is to conduct an administrative review of the entire organization," he said in a statement. "As details emerge, I will be in a better position to share what, if anything, is found."

In appointing Bouie a year ago, Ducey touted his leadership skills, saying then: "Tony brings to our administration a strong and tested history in leadership roles. Whether directing corporations, managing people and budgets, overseeing successful business development or coaching teams, he has proven himself an extremely effective and reputable leader."

He had no experience in the public sector but played with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and was an assistant football coach for the University of Akron in Ohio.

When he ran for the Legislature in 2008, Bouie was caught in a lie about his party registration. Despite his assertion that he had been a Republican for half of his life, records from Florida — where he lived before moving to Arizona — showed he was registered as a Democrat.

He only changed his party registration to Republican days before filing to run for the House seat in 2008. He lost in a three-way GOP primary, but came back in 2010 in an unsuccessful bid for a state Senate seat.

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6 comments. Last comment 11 months ago by gavin256.
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music*'s avatar - nw bookeep.jpg
Happy California
United States
Member #157856
August 2, 2014
1522 Posts
Offline
Posted: January 15, 2016, 8:44 am - IP Logged

The Governor of Arizona is handling this matter properly. No vigilante or trial by press and the public. This action reaffirms the public trust we have in Lotteries.

 Director Bouie is showing class by not fighting this in the courts.

 We all  make mistakes and then show our character by how we deal with them and life.

US Flag

 I've been rich and I've been poor. Believe me, rich is better. 

 Attributed to Joe E. Lewis and others

    spartan1707's avatar - Lottery-050.jpg
    Tucson
    United States
    Member #119762
    December 2, 2011
    81 Posts
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    Posted: January 15, 2016, 12:04 pm - IP Logged

    Ahhhhh...the House of Cards is coming too Light. The real issue goes like this. Out sourcing the Drawings right under the noses of Arizonians, the State is borrowing money from the Lottery to pay for "education" but doesn't the lottery already give money too the state for education? After a lot of players bitched about 666 it finally came out after more than 20yrs! Even with the new system they said cost millions there are still delays in the results being released. Which has raised concerns that they are picking the least pick numbers to increase profits. The only way to keep Tony's mouth shut is to say nothing. Oh and Gov.Ducey is about too release his budget for the state which will be borrowing more money to fill in the gaps. Yeah go figure. There is now a petition to bring back the drawings within the state with witnesses to the drawings. They don't want that period! So during the largest Powerball they ran so many commercials to show where the money goes when you play the Arizona Lottery. The truth is very little goes to education it all goes to a general fund and voted on how much they want to give to what ever programs or pockets they see fit.

      maximumfun's avatar - Lottery-030.jpg
      Lavender Rocket

      United States
      Member #124616
      March 16, 2012
      2642 Posts
      Offline
      Posted: January 15, 2016, 8:02 pm - IP Logged

      I like how Mass does it by giving money to the individual cities for the local areas to choose how to spend.  The new guy/gal in Arizona will have their hands full putting the Lottery right in the state.

        OneTrickpony's avatar - thought

        United States
        Member #167657
        July 25, 2015
        70 Posts
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        Posted: January 16, 2016, 6:35 am - IP Logged

        Something is up, that's for sure.  Or else he would have put up more of a fuss when his integrity was questioned.  I think we will find out that his kids weren't the only ones Bouie took for a ride either.  It will be interesting to see if the press follows up on this story, or if it will be swept under the rug to keep the flow of lottery money pouring into State coffers.

          ressuccess's avatar - Lottery-043.jpg

          United States
          Member #93164
          June 23, 2010
          1325 Posts
          Offline
          Posted: January 16, 2016, 1:33 pm - IP Logged

          Why did the Lottery Director resigned from Arizona for?

            Avatar

            United States
            Member #162003
            December 18, 2014
            43 Posts
            Offline
            Posted: January 18, 2016, 3:52 am - IP Logged

            Something is up, that's for sure.  Or else he would have put up more of a fuss when his integrity was questioned.  I think we will find out that his kids weren't the only ones Bouie took for a ride either.  It will be interesting to see if the press follows up on this story, or if it will be swept under the rug to keep the flow of lottery money pouring into State coffers.

            I vote swept under the rug. Money talks.