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Wiretap equipment gets Lottery official fired

Ohio LotteryOhio Lottery: Wiretap equipment gets Lottery official fired

Ohio Lottery Director Dennis Kennedy was only kidding.

Told last month that a technician was working on a better fingerprint system, Kennedy quipped that the next thing the technician would want is wiretapping equipment.

To Kennedy's surprise, the Lottery's security director told him that the agency already had phone-tap equipment and had used it to secretly record conversations on a phone at Lottery headquarters in Cleveland.

The revelation sparked an internal investigation that led to the April 2 firing of the Lottery's human resource director and a continuing criminal probe by the State Highway Patrol.

Details about how the wiretap became known to top Lottery officials and why Human Resources Director Renee Bianchi asked for it in the first place are contained in a security report that the Lottery released this week.

Bianchi, 47, of Parma, had worked for the Lottery for 13 years. In a letter to Bianchi, Kennedy said Bianchi was being terminated from her $69,000-a-year post because of "dishonesty, insubordination" and other actions.

She has denied any wrongdoing and is considering legal action against the Lottery.

In the report, Security Director Jack O'Donnell said Bianchi told him she wanted to record calls because she believed a former Lottery worker had made threats against members of the human resources staff.

A human resources staff lawyer, who had told Bianchi it was OK to monitor business conversations, told O'Donnell that Bianchi said she wanted to tap the phone because she suspected a worker was providing "business information" to the former worker.

The report doesn't state what information the worker was suspected of providing, but Lottery officials said it dealt with personnel issues.

O'Donnell said in the report that, until Kennedy joked about wiretap equipment last month, he had assumed Kennedy had signed off on secretly recording telephone calls.

Plain Dealer

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2 comments. Last comment 14 years ago by DoctorEw220.
Page 1 of 1
BabyJC's avatar - Lottery-031.jpg

United States
Member #3271
January 7, 2004
148 Posts
Posted: April 16, 2004, 2:47 pm - IP Logged

Doesn't that lady realize that you need a court order to do what she did?!

    DoctorEw220's avatar - alien helmet.jpg
    Yinzer Country, PA
    United States
    Member #4067
    March 18, 2004
    2741 Posts
    Posted: April 16, 2004, 5:25 pm - IP Logged

    appearantly not.

    I've redone my website.  Go to www.dr-ew.com.  I kept a lot of the old stuff, and I've added some new stuff.  Look for more new stuff in the coming weeks.