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California Lottery director resigns amid investigations

Jun 10, 2019, 8:18 am

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California State Lottery Director Hugo Lopez is stepping down immediately, he announced in an email to lottery staff on Friday.

Lopez has led the department since 2015. It's been under scrutiny from the Department of Justice and the State Controller's Office since August, when anonymous employees sent a letter to former Gov. Jerry Brown's office alleging misconduct among senior executives at sales conferences.

Lopez in his message said he was proud of the department's performance, particularly in growing annual revenue to more than $7 billion. A decade ago, the department brought in less than $3 billion a year.

"At the national level, the California Lottery has been one of the fastest growing lotteries over the past few years," Lopez wrote.

He is a longtime California state employee who has held senior positions at the Department of Motor Vehicles and the State Treasurer's Office.

The Department of Justice opened an investigation into the department last summer at former Gov. Brown's request. Lottery employees who spoke with investigators believe it is wrapping up.

The anonymous employee's letter to Brown's office also led California State Controller Betty Yee to expand a regular lottery audit. Yee's office found that lottery staff misspent hundreds of thousands of dollars on travel, food and accommodations for sales conferences over four years.

The employee's letter alleged that senior lottery staff misbehaved at a Southern California piano bar following a 2016 sales conference and used inappropriate language when speaking with colleagues. The message included photographs that been posted online of senior-ranking lottery staff carousing at the bar.

In September, a group of lottery employees at a public Lottery Commission meeting demanded that senior executives resign, alleging that department had shown favoritism in its hiring and promotions.

Lopez at public meetings has said the department took the allegations seriously. At least one senior-ranking lottery executive has been dismissed since the investigations opened.

Lopez as a department director served as an appointee of the governor's office. Newsom's office said the governor wound announce Lopez's successor soon.

Lottery spokesman Russ Lopez declined to comment on Hugo Lopez's departure.

"I want to express my sincere gratitude to Govs. Brown and Newsom for the opportunity to have served in this capacity, making my lottery directorship the pinnacle of my career of over 31 years as a public servant," the director wrote to lottery employees. "This experience has surpassed anything I could have imagined as a small child working with his family in the fields of rural northern California."

Sacramento Bee

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13 comments. Last comment 1 year ago by maxwell12.
Page 1 of 1
reddog's avatar - rickyavatar4
Durham, North Carolina
United States
Member #1616
June 5, 2003
2869 Posts
Offline

With 7 billion annual growth you would think some of that "educational" money could be used to teach people in San Francisco not to take craps on the sidewalk.

Taking it one drawing at a time.

    music*'s avatar - DiscoBallGlowing
    USN United States Navy
    Fresno, California
    United States
    Member #157851
    August 2, 2014
    3959 Posts
    Offline

    Our Governor of the State of California, Gavin Newsom has made some difficult decisions. Of course not everybody agrees with them.

     I hope to see more couragous decisions. 

     "It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness".

     "We are all in this together!" 

      lejardin's avatar - Lottery-014.jpg

      United States
      Member #118605
      November 4, 2011
      1429 Posts
      Offline

      IMO those decisions reflect exactly what Reddog said in his post.  Newsom is letting California go to Hades.  Sanctuary cities for one, two, allowing people to act like animals.  Wonder how San Francisco and Los Angeles is going to impact travel, who wants to travel to see that?

      CA needs to vote these psychos out.

        Artist77's avatar - batman14

        United States
        Member #121741
        January 16, 2012
        7642 Posts
        Offline

        IMO those decisions reflect exactly what Reddog said in his post.  Newsom is letting California go to Hades.  Sanctuary cities for one, two, allowing people to act like animals.  Wonder how San Francisco and Los Angeles is going to impact travel, who wants to travel to see that?

        CA needs to vote these psychos out.

        I agree. And you and I and a few others understood the great significance of this story when it was first posted.

        Je vous salue, Marie, pleine de grace.  We will rebuild!

          Coin Toss's avatar - shape barbed.jpg
          100
          Zeta Reticuli Star System
          United States
          Member #30469
          January 17, 2006
          11498 Posts
          Offline

          Here's the flaw;

          He is a longtime California state employee who has held senior positions at the Department of Motor Vehicles and the State Treasurer's Office.

          Those who run the lotteries love it when players look for consistency in something that's designed not to have any. So many systems, so many theories, so few jackpot winners. 

          Lep

          There is one and only one 'proven' system, and that is to book the action. No matter the game, let the players pick their own losers.

            cottoneyedjoe's avatar - cuonvFT

            United States
            Member #197033
            March 28, 2019
            541 Posts
            Offline

            Here's the flaw;

            He is a longtime California state employee who has held senior positions at the Department of Motor Vehicles and the State Treasurer's Office.

            I wonder if Newsom is going to do a bureaucrat shuffle or recruit talent from the outside.

            ... Sooper dooper top seekrit winning numbers: 5 16 17 24 33 52 ...

              Coin Toss's avatar - shape barbed.jpg
              100
              Zeta Reticuli Star System
              United States
              Member #30469
              January 17, 2006
              11498 Posts
              Offline

              I wonder if Newsom is going to do a bureaucrat shuffle or recruit talent from the outside.

              Good question cottoneyedjoe,

              The way California is going maybe he'll pick the first person to cross the border illegally the day after Lopez resigns.

              Those who run the lotteries love it when players look for consistency in something that's designed not to have any. So many systems, so many theories, so few jackpot winners. 

              Lep

              There is one and only one 'proven' system, and that is to book the action. No matter the game, let the players pick their own losers.

                lejardin's avatar - Lottery-014.jpg

                United States
                Member #118605
                November 4, 2011
                1429 Posts
                Offline

                Good question cottoneyedjoe,

                The way California is going maybe he'll pick the first person to cross the border illegally the day after Lopez resigns.

                Well there you have it, a lobbyist.  Once a lobbyist, always a lobbyist.

                  Avatar
                  Chasing $ Millions.
                  White Shores- California
                  United States
                  Member #136473
                  December 12, 2012
                  6313 Posts
                  Offline

                  With 7 billion annual growth you would think some of that "educational" money could be used to teach people in San Francisco not to take craps on the sidewalk.

                  I Agree! with you in part. SF is a sewer, the sanctuary cities is total BS, especially since the US is a country of laws. What l differ with you on is, no one doubts that it is a liberal city, has been for decades, that being said, lots of the crap of other States, folks going through PTSD & other ailments that have not been taken seriously- have hightailed it to SF. Word on the streets is “ Go to SF, churches open their doors to the hungry, the poor, you get free meals, even some treatment.” So before passing judgement on SF, just remember some of your “ you not welcome here” have crisscrossed the country to end up in SF &  LA.It’s not a good thing, but it is what it is. As for taking a dump in the city, they brought that bad habit with them. Just saying..

                   * Voice of Reason *   

                   

                  People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it- George Bernard Shaw.

                    Avatar
                    Kentucky
                    United States
                    Member #32651
                    February 14, 2006
                    8965 Posts
                    Online

                    I Agree! with you in part. SF is a sewer, the sanctuary cities is total BS, especially since the US is a country of laws. What l differ with you on is, no one doubts that it is a liberal city, has been for decades, that being said, lots of the crap of other States, folks going through PTSD & other ailments that have not been taken seriously- have hightailed it to SF. Word on the streets is “ Go to SF, churches open their doors to the hungry, the poor, you get free meals, even some treatment.” So before passing judgement on SF, just remember some of your “ you not welcome here” have crisscrossed the country to end up in SF &  LA.It’s not a good thing, but it is what it is. As for taking a dump in the city, they brought that bad habit with them. Just saying..

                    Probably way off topic, but Lexington and Louisville are not sanctuary cities, but neither actively pursue someone's immigration status unless they are charged with a crime first. From what I've read a big part of LA's and SF's problem is the large numbers of homeless that go there because of the climate regardless whether they are a citizen or not.

                    And all the crap on the streets is probably not why Scott McKenzie suggested wearing "a flower in your hair" if you're going to San Francisco.

                      Avatar
                      Chasing $ Millions.
                      White Shores- California
                      United States
                      Member #136473
                      December 12, 2012
                      6313 Posts
                      Offline

                      Probably way off topic, but Lexington and Louisville are not sanctuary cities, but neither actively pursue someone's immigration status unless they are charged with a crime first. From what I've read a big part of LA's and SF's problem is the large numbers of homeless that go there because of the climate regardless whether they are a citizen or not.

                      And all the crap on the streets is probably not why Scott McKenzie suggested wearing "a flower in your hair" if you're going to San Francisco.

                      And all the crap on the streets is probably not why Scott McKenzie suggested wearing "a flower in your hair" if you're going to San Francisco.....Which raises the question, are flowers grown in crap Organic? If they are, Scott was correct.

                       * Voice of Reason *   

                       

                      People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it- George Bernard Shaw.

                        benjibanks's avatar - Lottery-062.jpg
                        Los Angeles
                        United States
                        Member #187099
                        January 12, 2018
                        66 Posts
                        Offline

                        Who would have thought that emptying the prisons and not enforcing laws would create a utopia for homeless drug addicts? The result is higher taxes, a continued drain of middle class citizens and an influx of homeless people and those who need government assistance.   Sadly, this is the choice that California has made by being a one party state.

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                          darkar
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                          i am new here please could any one available to hit me how it work ? and direction of things goes on here ?