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Texas Lottery chief may lose job over jackpot snafu

Jul 2, 2005, 11:51 pm

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Texas Lottery

The Texas Lottery Commission's executive director may lose his job and six other employees may be reassigned following revelations that the agency inflated jackpot estimates, according to a posted agenda.

Commissioners may meet in executive session July 11 to "deliberate the appointment, employment, evaluation, reassignment, duties, discipline or dismissal" of executive director Reagan Greer, the agenda posted Friday states.

The notice also indicates the commission may discuss the reassignment of deputy executive director Gary Grief and up to five other officials and the appointment of an acting executive director.

"I'm reviewing a lot of information right now and giving this a lot of thought," said Tom Clowe of Waco, the commission chairman. He declined to comment further.

Greer was on vacation and unavailable for comment late Friday. Commission spokeswoman Leticia Vasquez said Grief had no comment.

Lottery officials told the commission at its June 24 meeting that they knew ticket sales would not cover an advertised $8 million Lotto Texas jackpot for the June 8 drawing, but they used the higher number to keep players interested in the game. They also admitted jackpots had fallen short of the advertised amounts twice before. No player won those jackpots.

The agency has already fired Lee Deviney, one of two managers responsible for proposing jackpots. But lottery officials say his dismissal had nothing to do with the jackpot issue and the timing was a coincidence.

According to the posted agenda, the commission also plans to discuss changing the rules for the Lotto Texas game and changing procedures for estimating and advertising jackpots for all Texas Lottery games.

The inflation came to light after Dawn Nettles, publisher of a Garland-based lottery report, filed a complaint with Attorney General Greg Abbott.

"If the commission does not hold all those accountable who are responsible for this, then I will be sorely disappointed," Nettles said.

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