Sep 26, 2005, 6:38 am
The members of the first N.C. State Lottery Commission include Glaxo's former chief executive, the state's hurricane preparedness chief and a political consultant who helped bring a numbers game to South Carolina.
Charles Sanders, the former chairman and chief executive of the drug giant, was tapped Thursday by Democratic Gov. Mike Easley to lead the commission for the next year.
The nine-member committee also includes Bryan Beatty, the state's crime control and public safety secretary, and Kevin Geddings, who led the pro-lottery campaign before a referendum in 2000 that allowed the creation of a lottery in South Carolina.
There's no word on when the commission will hold its first meeting. One of the panel's immediate tasks will be to hire an executive director and choose a lottery operator who can help get out the first scratch cards as early as spring.
Sanders, who ran for the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate in 1996 but lost to Harvey Gantt, was out of the state Thursday and couldn't be reached for comment.
House Speaker Jim Black, D-Mecklenburg, and Senate leader Marc Basnight, D-Dare, named four commissioners.
Including Sanders, Carlisle and Beatty, Easley's other appointments are former Easley aide John McArthur and Wilson attorney Robert Farris Jr.
Several commissioners are well-connected to Democratic politics.
Black appointed former state Board of Transportation member Gordon Myers as well as Geddings, a former chief of staff to S.C. Gov. Jim Hodges, who owns radio stations and a public relations firm in Charlotte, N.C., with his wife.
Geddings worked with Hodges in his 1998 gubernatorial campaign and Beverly Perdue in her successful 2000 campaign for lieutenant governor.
Thursday, Geddings said in a phone interview, "I really am not that engaged in partisan politics."
Geddings acknowledged he had performed work in the past for potential lottery vendors but said he has no ongoing relationship with them. The lottery law bars commission employees from having a financial interest in vendors, except through mutual funds.
Myers is the former chairman of N.C. Citizens for Business and Industry and was first elected to the transportation board under Gov. Jim Hunt.
Basnight's appointments were former Charlotte city Councilman Malachi Greene and Wilmington accountant Robert Appleton. Greene is a Democrat who once worked in Republican Gov. Jim Martin's administration.
The law creating the commission required a certified public accountant to sit on the board. Beatty's appointment fulfills the requirement that the commission include a member with at least five years of law-enforcement experience.
The commission members don't receive salaries but will get expense money. They will initially serve terms of one to three years.
The lottery law requires at least 35 percent of gross revenues to be returned to the state for school construction projects, need-based college scholarships and class-size reduction and preschool initiatives.
One of the N.C. State Lottery Commission's immediate tasks will be to hire an executive director and choose a lottery operator who can help get out the first scratch cards as early as spring.