Ohio Lottery Director Resigned Amid Misconduct Allegations

Posted on: Could 5, 2023, 04:53h. 

Final up to date on: Could 5, 2023, 05:24h.

Former Ohio Lottery Director Pat McDonald’s abrupt resignation final month prompted a state investigation after experiences surfaced that his departure got here after a minimum of one feminine worker introduced harassment allegations towards her boss.

Ohio Lottery Pat McDonald allegations misconduct harassment
Then the director of the Ohio Lottery, Pat McDonald poses with a lottery winner in 2019. McDonald resigned abruptly in April after a feminine subordinate made misconduct allegations towards him. (Picture: The Information-Herald)

On the route of Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R), the Cleveland legislation agency Zashin & Wealthy was contracted to hold out a probe into the misconduct allegations made by the feminine lottery employee. The legislation agency not too long ago introduced its findings to the DeWine administration, which made the report public throughout a Friday information launch.

Investigators mentioned a feminine who labored on the Ohio Lottery Fee below McDonald first filed a criticism with Elizabeth Alex, the deputy director of the lottery’s workplace of human sources, in February.

The unidentified worker claimed McDonald gave unwelcomed hugs to her and one other feminine and likewise touched their shoulders and arms awkwardly. The lady additionally mentioned McDonald made verbal feedback about their appearances.

The Zashin & Wealthy report discovered that the identical worker went to HR once more in April to supply further particulars on why she felt uncomfortable round McDonald. That prompted DeWine’s Chief of Workers Stephanie McCloud to fulfill with McDonald on April 11 to debate the allegations.

McDonald reportedly denied the allegations and apologized to the feminine who had initially filed her grievances with Alex. McDonald was paid about $120,000 a yr as director.

Medical Resignation

As director of the Ohio Lottery Fee, McDonald oversaw a $5 billion annual lottery operation. Of the $5.3 billion in tickets that the Ohio Lottery offered throughout its most up-to-date fiscal yr, the company stored greater than $1.4 billion. The Ohio Lottery primarily helps public training.

The OLC is moreover answerable for overseeing the state’s seven racinos and retail sports activities betting inside bars and different small companies within the Buckeye State. Ohio’s industrial casinos and on-line sportsbooks are regulated by a separate state company — the Ohio On line casino Management Fee.

McDonald sat within the position from February 2019 till final month, when he introduced his resignation. He cited medical causes for his exit.

McDonald ‘explicitly denied’ the allegations of misconduct earlier than disclosing ‘a major medical situation,’” the report detailed. He issued his resignation the day after he met with McCloud.

DeWine appointed McDonald to the director place in 2019. Earlier than changing into director, McDonald labored on the lottery company as a commissioner from 2007. He had beforehand served for six years because the director of the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections.

No Authorized Recourse for State

The Zashin & Wealthy probe didn’t discover concrete proof to recommend that McDonald dedicated unlawful acts whereas director of the Ohio Lottery.

Although textual content messages allegedly despatched by McDonald to one of many females expressed an “inappropriate fondness,” the legislation agency’s investigators mentioned potential punishment for the state to levy towards McDonald “is negated by his departure.”

DeWine named Michelle Gillcrist as interim director of the Ohio Lottery following McDonald’s resignation.

In 2021, the Ohio Lottery offered greater than $5.5 billion in tickets. That trailed solely Florida ($9B), New York ($8.6B), California ($8.4B), Texas ($8.1B), Georgia ($5.8B), and Massachusetts ($5.8B).



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