ERNIE WHO? The former lottery director doesnt seem to be missed.

  • ERNIE WHO? The former lottery director doesn’t seem to be missed.

The Arkansas Lottery seems to be running just fine without its founding director, Ernie Passailaigue, and a couple of high-priced vice presidents he brought with him from South Carolina for the lottery startup. Or so it was said at a Lottery Commission meeting yesterday.


The search for a new director need not be overlong, but it should be a real search, not a UCA-style piece of theater that ends with a pre-ordained candidate.

Meanwhile, the state is saving salaries (roughly $775,000) and perks (retirement, health, etc.) that, in sum, cost more than $1 million a year for the three dearly departed. That’s more than $83,000 a month, more than 20 scholarships for every month they aren’t replaced.


Thought: If the lottery can run so well without any of them on board, do you think it’s possible that it can get by without one or two of those positions permanently? The $225,000 Arkansas paid its administrative chief didn’t stop overtime abuse, tax penalties and employee unrest.