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Arkansas lottery panel to recommend salary survey for auditor position
Commission feeling the heat as outcry over high salaries continues The audit committee of the Arkansas Lottery Commission decided Wednesday to recommend a national survey of salaries paid to lottery auditors before setting pay for the person to be hired as internal auditor of Arkansas' lottery program. The panel agreed it would recommend the commission ask the Bureau of Legislative Research conduct the survey. Internal auditor is one of two lottery positions for which the commission is dir
Jul 22, 2009, 8:18 pm - Lottery News

AR Lottery spokesperson: Wrong salary set for security chief because of Web page error
Arkansas lottery spokesperson Julie Baldridge claimed Wednesday that Grant County Sheriff Lance Huey was hired at what lottery staff members believed was the midpoint salary grade because a state Web site listed the salary as such. Huey was hired to serve as the lottery's director of security at a salary of $115,644, which Baldridge said actually is the peak of the salary range for the position. Baldridge said the position and salary was listed on the website of the state's Department of Fina
Jul 22, 2009, 7:36 pm - Lottery News

Arkansas Lottery Commission hits panic button on salaries
High salaries doled out for top positions in Arkansas' state-run lottery program could sour legislators' relationship with the commission they created to oversee the games, Gov. Mike Beebe said Thursday. The governor welcomed the Arkansas Lottery Commission's decision a day earlier to review salary offers of more than $80,000 made to future lottery hires. But the governor said he thought lawmakers were surprised that at least a half-dozen of the first employees hired to run the lottery got si
Jul 17, 2009, 10:05 am - Lottery News

Arkansas Lottery director hires core management staff
Outcry over high salaries; Director defends Ernie Passailaigue, who started his job two weeks ago as executive director of the Arkansas Lottery Commission, has been steadily hiring employees to fill core management positions, while defending the high salaries he is giving the new staff. Before the hiring commenced, a legislative committee signed off ealier this month on the newly hired lottery chief's plan to pay his top deputies more than $200,000 each. Passailaigue asked legislators t
Jul 15, 2009, 11:53 am - Lottery News

Arkansas Lottery director scrutinized over staffing plans
Just a few days into his job running Arkansas' lottery, Ernie Passailaigue is already sounding like a man under siege. In his first appearance before lawmakers as the state lottery's executive director, Passailaigue complained that reporters were focusing only on the negative and the trivial. And he says the public won't understand what goes into setting up the lottery from scratch. Passailaigue took a defensive tone last week as he explained his plan to create 88 positions for the new gam
Jul 7, 2009, 10:29 am - Lottery News

Arkansas Lottery Commission votes to join Powerball
The Arkansas Lottery Commission voted Wednesday to join the multi-state Powerball games, tickets for which may go on sale in the state as soon as this year, the state's lottery director said. The commission accepted an invitation from the Multi-State Lottery Association and the Powerball Group to join Powerball, which is played in 30 states, Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands. State Lottery Director Ernie Passailaigue said previously he expected Arkansas to start selling Powerba
Jul 2, 2009, 5:46 am - Lottery News

Arkansas Gov. and new lottery director meet
Prelude of coming battle over Keno The head of the Arkansas state lottery and Gov. Mike Beebe met for the first time Monday but didn't talk much about their differences on keno. Executive Director Ernie Passailaigue's meeting with the governor came five days after Beebe told reporters he would oppose keno being instituted in Arkansas as a state lottery game. Passailaigue has said he envisioned keno being played in bars and restaurants by people watching monitors for winning numbers that
Jun 30, 2009, 8:39 am - Lottery News

Arkansas lottery director turns down $11,000 housing allowance
The incoming head of Arkansas' lottery, set to be one of the highest-paid lottery directors in the country, didn't take all the cash offered him. Ernie Passailaigue's $324,000-a-year salary was just part of the deal when he was hired June 5. The Arkansas Lottery Commission chairman, Ray Thornton of Little Rock, also directed the state to pay $980 a month for a year $11,760 total for housing support for Passailaigue. But Passailaigue turned it down. He said that during negotiations for the
Jun 25, 2009, 2:18 am - Lottery News

Quick decision: New Ark. Lottery chief recommends Powerball
The newly hired director of the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery says he is recommending that the State Lottery Commission accept an invitation by Powerball to join the multi-state lottery known for its often soaring jackpots. Ernie Passailaigue says he hopes the state begins selling scratch off tickets by October 29th and selling Powerball tickets by early 2010. Passailaigue says he believes once the lottery is up and running Arkansas could see $1.5 million a day in sales. But another pote
Jun 25, 2009, 12:13 am - Lottery News

Arkansas Lottery targets Oct. 29 for first ticket sales
Drawing games will start later in the year The Arkansas Lottery Commission set official target dates Friday for the first lottery tickets to go on sale: Oct. 29 for instant-win, scratch-off tickets and Dec. 14 for tickets for drawing games. The commission also approved spending up to $30,000 to buy a car for newly hired executive director Ernie Passailaigue, who officially starts July 1 but has already been working to get Arkansas' lottery started. Two requests for proposals, or RFPs, t
Jun 22, 2009, 12:17 am - Lottery News