Florida Lottery sued by House over contract

Feb 22, 2017, 7:40 am (15 comments)

Florida Lottery

Just another political battle masquerading as a lawsuit?

Florida's House of Representatives filed a lawsuit late Friday accusing the Florida Lottery of illegally signing a long-term contract for ticket sales, escalating a feud between House Speaker Richard Corcoran and Gov. Rick Scott a little more than a week before the legislative session begins.

Corcoran's decision to file the lawsuit represents a head-on confrontation with an agency overseen by Scott. In response, the governor's office slammed Corcoran, an attorney, as "a trial lawyer".

The House's lawsuit contends that the Lottery's contract with IGT Global Solutions Corp. is illegal because it spends more money than the Legislature has set aside for ticket machines in the current budget.

It asks a Leon County circuit court to find that Lottery Secretary Tom Delacenserie didn't have the authority to sign the deal, and that he should "take all steps necessary to avoid that contract."

The House says state law requires an agency to receive permission from the Legislature before signing a contract that would spend more money in an area of the budget — even in future years — than lawmakers have already allocated for that area.

"The Lottery, and any other agency for that matter, does not have the right to obligate the taxpayers of Florida by even a penny beyond what the people's elected Representatives say they can," Corcoran, R-Land O' Lakes, said in a statement issued by his office Friday. "This lawsuit filed today is about the rule of law and the protection of taxpayers."

Scott spokeswoman Jackie Schutz blasted the filing without responding specifically to the legal allegations in the lawsuit.

"The Florida Lottery's record sales have led to historic contributions to our state's education system and the House sues? Not shocking to have another lawsuit from a trial lawyer," Schutz said in an email.

The dispute stems from a contract that Delacenserie signed in September. The contract with IGT ran until 2028, and was essentially immediately extended to 2031 under an option.

The deal also changed the way in which the vendor was paid. In the past, the Lottery has paid a fixed amount to deploy and administer each machine. Under the new deal, IGT will get a slice of the sales of tickets, machines and other services.

Based on projected sales, that would boost the amount the Lottery needs to pay for the contract by $12.9 million in the budget year that begins July 1, according to the House. The suit says that bucks the entire reason that multi-year state contracts are limited to begin with.

"By doing so, the law protects against executive agencies trying to force the Legislature's hand in the budgeting process," the filing contends. "It also protects against agencies unleashing the lobbyists of private vendors to interfere with that process. This in turn ensures budgeting transparency and predictability."

The lawsuit comes amid an increasingly acrimonious clash between Corcoran, who has shaken the Tallahassee establishment with his hard-charging approach, and Scott.

The two men have already engaged in a war of words over economic incentives for businesses, with Corcoran arguing they amount to "corporate welfare" and Scott saying that zeroing out the funds as Corcoran wants would cost Florida jobs.

Both men are expected to run for higher office in 2018. Scott is widely believed to be eyeing a challenge to U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, a Democrat, while Corcoran is reportedly considering a run for governor.

Orlando Weekly

Comments

Raven62's avatarRaven62

What is the Lottery to the State that Hosts it?

Just one of many Streams of Income!

haymaker's avatarhaymaker

The days of Lotteries doing whatever they <snip> well please is coming to an end...hopefully !

This post has been automatically changed by the Lottery Post computer system to remove inappropriate content and/or spam.

Redd55

I would love to know their salaries, benefits, retirement, etc.  I suspect being on one of those commissions/boards is lucrative.

haymaker's avatarhaymaker

Quote: Originally posted by haymaker on Feb 22, 2017

The days of Lotteries doing whatever they <snip> well please is coming to an end...hopefully !

This post has been automatically changed by the Lottery Post computer system to remove inappropriate content and/or spam.

Oh...sorry...that word sounds like the word for a structure that holds back water on a river.

Raven62's avatarRaven62

Quote: Originally posted by haymaker on Feb 22, 2017

Oh...sorry...that word sounds like the word for a structure that holds back water on a river.

A Dike?

Redd55

Dikephobia -- a fear of justice. 

Yes, it is a real word! Jester

Soledad

This is actually an interesting story. Especially the part about contractors receiving slices of ticket sales all of a sudden. I say let the law suit happen.

Teddi's avatarTeddi

Scott's a crook, so I'm a-okay with people not rubber stamping any contracts he feels should be automatically approved. Even if he didn't have a history of shady dealings, his spokewoman's response makes no sense, and is a personal attack instead of a reasoned rebuttal. In the first place, why is it an insult to be a trial lawyer?In the second place, it doesn't matter how robust the sales of tickets are at the moment, if the law says a contract cannot be entered into that exceeds a set budget, then that's the law. Sure it's an unnecessary hassle to continually haggle over price points, but it's obviously in place to guard against this very thing.

It's part of a check and balance system to keep costs at a minimum and to make sure any increases are justifiable. Since an increase in sales doesn't have to automatically merit an increase in expenses, Corcoran has a point. A lottery official shouldn't have the unilateral authority to agree to any contract that would cost more than established limits. I can't think of any properly managed corporation that would allow that either.

CARBOB's avatarCARBOB

I emailed Mr Corcoran and expressed my thoughts on subsidizing the state lottery. Their payouts are lower and their profits are higher since they began test draws.

MaximumMillions

Quote: Originally posted by Teddi on Feb 22, 2017

Scott's a crook, so I'm a-okay with people not rubber stamping any contracts he feels should be automatically approved. Even if he didn't have a history of shady dealings, his spokewoman's response makes no sense, and is a personal attack instead of a reasoned rebuttal. In the first place, why is it an insult to be a trial lawyer?In the second place, it doesn't matter how robust the sales of tickets are at the moment, if the law says a contract cannot be entered into that exceeds a set budget, then that's the law. Sure it's an unnecessary hassle to continually haggle over price points, but it's obviously in place to guard against this very thing.

It's part of a check and balance system to keep costs at a minimum and to make sure any increases are justifiable. Since an increase in sales doesn't have to automatically merit an increase in expenses, Corcoran has a point. A lottery official shouldn't have the unilateral authority to agree to any contract that would cost more than established limits. I can't think of any properly managed corporation that would allow that either.

Keep in mind Rick Scott ran an attack ad on a constituent. Bizarre.

Teddi's avatarTeddi

Quote: Originally posted by MaximumMillions on Feb 22, 2017

Keep in mind Rick Scott ran an attack ad on a constituent. Bizarre.

Not surprised. His corrupt practices were on full display even before he entered politics and he was still voted in as Governor. Which is probably why it doesn't bother him how odd it looks to be attacking a guy for something that shouldn't have even been allowed to happen. I'll have to go do some more research on this because he's the governor, this is a law with high profile consequences stamped all over it, so why allow it in the first place? why fight it after allowing it? and why make a bigger stink than he has to while fighting it? What am I missing here? I know he's corrupt, I never pegged him for stupid. Then again, the last time he broke the law it was everyone around him who went to prison, while he walked.

haymaker's avatarhaymaker

Quote: Originally posted by Raven62 on Feb 22, 2017

A Dike?

LOL !

I thought that was half of a pair of pliers...have one of those in the box of broken tools !

CARBOB's avatarCARBOB

Quote: Originally posted by CARBOB on Feb 22, 2017

I emailed Mr Corcoran and expressed my thoughts on subsidizing the state lottery. Their payouts are lower and their profits are higher since they began test draws.

Got a response back. Maybe, just maybe I got something stirred. I hope so.

 

 
Bobby,
Thanks so much for your input.  I'll keep it in mind.
Richard
On Wed, Feb 22, 2017 at 12:12 PM:
Comment: Hon Richard Corcoran,
I don't think the voters should support the Florida Lottery. They generate a lot of money for profit the way it is now. They conduct test draws on every ball game which lowers the number of winners and lowers their payout. They don't publicize the test results for the players to know the test draws being conducted. If you can do anything about that, please do.
Thank You
Bob Walters
MaximumMillions

That sounds like the typical non-answer.

Also your post contains personal info. You might want to edit it.

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