The opaque lottery | Arkansas Blog

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The opaque lottery

Posted By on Wed, Jun 24, 2009 at 6:05 AM

Hidden gambling options aren't the only little secrets kept from the public about the new state lottery.

Who knew, for example, that the law allowed the lottery commission chairman, Ray Thornton, to unilaterally order up expensive perks for lottery director Ernie Passailaigue

The Democrat-Gazette reported today that Thornton had authorized a one-year housing allowance for Ernie P. costing almost $1,000 a month. The state Finance and Administration Department duly cut the first check. Ernie has since decided to forego the allowance. But he had asked about temporary housing assistance during the hiring process so that a housing search wouldn't deter him from getting right to  work.

Thornton was all too happy to help. But Thornton's former employee, Julie Baldridge, who was Passailaigue's first lottery hire, got quickly to work finding Ernie a Riverdale crash pad so all is well on the home front. And he's kindly agreed to pay his own rent.

You wonder. If Ernie needed a new wardrobe, but didn't have time to shop, what with his lottery duties and all, would the state have cut him a check for new duds made to order from old measurements by his South Carolina haberdasher so as to save him shopping time? Silly comparison, I know. But the central question is whether there is another agency of state government where expense payments of this size can be ordered up by a commission chairman and the check will be cut, no questions asked, by DFA?

What else don't we know about the transparent lottery?

 

From the ArkTimes store

Favorite

Comments (17)

Showing 1-17 of 17

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-17 of 17

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

Readers also liked…

  • IHOP coming down, but .....

    I always scan the Little Rock City Board for items of interest this week and this one caught my eye: A zoning measure required by a proposal to tear down the IHOP at Markham and University.
    • Apr 30, 2016
  • LR speakers blast state board for double standard

    A series of speakers, beginning with Sen. Joyce Elliott, denounced what they saw as a hidden agenda favoring charter schools at the state Department of Education and asked the state Board of Education for return of local control.
    • May 12, 2016
  • Kenneth Starr: A comment from Betsey Wright

    Betsey Wright, former President Bill Clinton's chief of staff when he was Arkansas governor, responds bitterly to a New York Times article today quoting Whitewater Prosecutor Kenneth Starr's warm words about Clinton. She can't forget the lives Starr ruined in Arkansas.
    • May 24, 2016

Most Shared

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation