Two CT Lottery employees suspended without pay for their roles in botched raffle drawing

Two CT Lottery employees suspended without pay for their roles in botched raffle drawing

Two middle-level Connecticut Lottery Corp. employees were suspended without pay in the continued fallout from a million-dollar mistake in the Jan. 1 drawing that decided on winners in the New Year’s Super Draw sport.

Disciplined for “neglect of duty” have been drawing manager Valerie Guglielmo and investigator Robert Balicki. Both served on a five-member drawing staff that mistakenly excluded 100,000 of 214,601 eligible tickets that were offered to gamers. The error resulted in a do-over draw on Jan. 16 and a lack of about $1 million.

The two employees have been put on paid leaves Jan. 2, and now every has signed a disciplinary settlement negotiated by way of the lottery company and the Administrative and Residual Employees Union (A&R), with the next penalties:

  • Gugliemo, paid $89,269 a 12 months, is serving a suspension of 20 unpaid running days from March 2 to 29, for failing to go into and examine the right kind digits in a random quantity producing laptop that picked winners on the drawing in Rocky Hill. She entered 214601 because the highest-numbered price tag — as a substitute of the right kind quantity, 314601 — forgetting that the bottom price tag quantity was once 100001 as a substitute of 000zero01, which intended 100,000 needed to be added to the collection of tickets offered. She’s anticipated go back to paintings on April 2.
  • Balicki, who’s paid $77,704 a 12 months, was once suspended without pay for 8 running days from Feb. 26 to March 7 and has returned to paintings. He was once some of the staff contributors who have been meant to look at and examine that the appropriate numbers went into the random quantity generator, and he “failed to recognize that the incorrect [top] number had been entered…and therefore failed to halt the drawing until the correction was made, as required. Given the fact that Mr. Balicki noticed and corrected a similar error in a practice drawing, five days prior, he should have noticed the error and corrected it on 01/01/2018,” his disciplinary record stated.

The different contributors of the Jan. 1 drawing staff have been: two employees of the state Department of Consumer Protection (DCP), Christine Komorowski and Atanu Ahmed; and Keith Lewis, a consultant from the lottery company’s out of doors accounting company, Marcum LLP. Lewis was once there as an observer to be sure that legit drawing procedures have been adopted, they usually were not.

DCP has referred imaginable disciplinary motion for its two staff contributors to the State Department of Administrative Services (DAS), which has but to succeed in a choice. (Unlike the quasi-public lottery Corporation, DCP does no longer have its personal human assets division, so it referred the topic of self-discipline to DAS.) In the intervening time, the 2 DCP employees are “not participating in drawing activity,” stated Consumer Protection spokeswoman Lora Rae Anderson.

Accounting Firm Fired

The lottery company’s Board of Directors final month voted to fireplace Marcum, a countrywide accounting company that has workplaces in Connecticut, with about 12 months left on its three-year contract. Lottery officers are making an allowance for felony motion in opposition to Marcum, which denies it’s accountable for the expensive error.

Board of Directors Chairman Donald DeFronzo stated he thinks that the suspensions of Guglielmo and Balicki are truthful. The employees had to be held responsible for the error although it was once accidental, he stated, however the self-discipline was once “mitigated by their years of service and good things they’ve done for the agency.”

A&R Union President John DiSette stated final month that the drawing’s “adverse outcome was the result of systemic deficiencies, not misconduct or negligence. The employees involved are all highly respected, experienced, and dedicated employees who performed within the guidelines approved for them.” He stated that investigative experiences by way of the lottery company and the DCP at the drawing snafu display that there are “some simple steps that could be taken to resolve the systemic problems.”

Lottery officers are recommending in the aftermath of the Jan. 1 snafu that long term Super Draw video games use tickets starting with the quantity 000zero01, as a substitute of 100001, which has been used in earlier editions of the particular sport that has been presented one or two instances a 12 months since 2010, with tickets offered at $10 apiece.

Lottery officers say they’ve no sure rationalization for the synthetic inflation of the Super Draw price tag numbers over time. However, one risk they have got presented is that earlier officers believed that upper price tag numbers may build up price tag gross sales by way of indicating to gamers that there was once a prime point of enthusiasm for the sport.

Cloud Remains

It almost certainly shall be months ahead of the fallout from the Jan. 1 drawing snafu dissipates.

For something, meantime lottery CEO Chelsea Turner final month positioned the company’s $139,000-a-year safety director, Alfred DuPuis, on a paid depart pending imaginable disciplinary motion after an interior investigation concluded that he “acted with gross neglect … of his duties” main as much as the fallacious Jan. 1 drawing. And now, whilst the query of self-discipline hangs over him, DuPuis is out on a Family and Medical Leave Act depart.

So are the lottery company’s Human Resources director, Jane Rooney, and her assistant director, Jennifer Hunter. They started their FMLA leaves in the previous two weeks and are because of go back in mid-April. Their leaves don’t seem to be disciplinary, DeFronzo stated. Without going into element, he stated he believes “they are related very much to unsubstantiated and personal attacks in some of the communications that we have seen from state legislators.”

State lawmakers together with Rep. Joe Verrengia, the Democratic co-chairman of the General Assembly’s public protection committee, and Senate Republican chief Len Fasano, have stated the lottery company has failed to supply enough explanations of, or answers for, its issues relationship again to a fraud scandal involving lottery shops that compelled the shutdown of the five Card Cash Game in 2015.

They have requested DCP, because the state’s legit regulator of the lottery, to behavior a “top to bottom” investigation of total operations on the revenue-raising company. The DCP says it is going to examine, and is getting ready to get underway. The lawmakers need out of doors companies, such because the Auditors of Public Accounts, to be enlisted to lend a hand in that inquiry.

Verrengia additionally stated that with key lottery managers similar to Rooney and DuPuis no longer at paintings — and with the lottery board nonetheless having did not appoint an enduring leader government officer 18 months after former CEO Anne Noble left amid controversy — he is thinking about introducing regulation that may put a brief control committee in rate of daily operations till the lottery can pull itself out of persistent turmoil.
DeFronzo stated the lottery company is constant to deal with its issues, and is arranging to rent an out of doors advisor to review the $1.2 billion a 12 months gross sales operation and counsel enhancements. The lottery generates $330 million a 12 months in profit for the state.

How It Happened

The DCP’s Anderson has stated the Jan. 1 drawing blunder took place this fashion:

  • The 5 contributors of the drawing staff had the good thing about illustrated directions — in the type of revealed “Official Drawing Procedures” — for how to go into the right kind low and high price tag numbers into the digital number-generating gadget that randomly selects the winners.
  • Those revealed procedures emphasised that price tag numbers went upward from a low of 100001 — so the second one price tag can be 100002, the 3rd 100003, and so forth. With, 214,601 tickets offered, the variability of eligible tickets must were 100001 on the low finish, and 314601 on the best.
  • But Guglielmo as a substitute entered 214601 as the highest quantity, omitting the 100,000 tickets numbered from 214602 via 314601. And that error wasn’t stuck by way of Balicki or the representatives from DCP and Marcum.

Guglielmo had created an unofficial “checklist,” which, even though meant to keep away from errors, contributed to the mistake, an interior investigation by way of the lottery company concluded final month.

The investigative record stated that Guglielmo, who was once officially designated as “primary drawing performer,” requested and gained DuPuis’ permission to create the concise, two-page tick list derived from the long “Official Drawing Procedures.” DCP officers have been even consulted about what must be at the tick list.

But the tick list, which she used on the drawing, did not come with the similar roughly specific, illustrated emphasis on a key step in the process in which the overall of tickets offered must be adjusted upward by way of 100,000.

Updated: March 24, 2018 — 5:49 am

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