Archive for Saturday, September 23, 2000

Ex-lottery director’s new job in limbo

Connecticut officials wait for outcome of background checkv

September 23, 2000

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The former Kansas Lottery director's new job as president of the Connecticut lottery still is tentative and may be in jeopardy, according to a Connecticut state official.

Connecticut investigative agencies have not completed a background probe of Greg Ziemak, who recently resigned as director of the Kansas Lottery.

The Connecticut Lottery Corp., which oversees that state's lottery operation, was not fully aware of the details concerning the recent Kansas Lottery scandal, according to Paul Corey, chairman of the Connecticut Lottery Board of Directors.

"I'm not sure we're aware of everything now," Corey said in a Friday telephone interview. "We're going to continue to investigate the issues and evaluate the information we get."

Ziemak, 52, was named the new president and chief executive of the Connecticut lottery Wednesday. He had gone through the hiring process during the past few months. Corey wasn't sure how many times Ziemak was interviewed during that process.

It was after that announcement that Corey learned about the charges in Kansas against Richard Knowlton. He also learned that there may be questions concerning Ziemak's management of the Kansas Lottery.

"He did inform us that there was an individual who was being investigated for some sort of computer scheme and that it was being handled by his internal security," Corey said of Ziemak. "He said he couldn't talk much about it."

Neither Corey nor any other members of the Connecticut lottery board talked to Kansas officials before voting unanimously to make an offer to Ziemak, Corey said.

"That's part of the background check," he said.

The two main agencies conducting the background check are the Division of Special Revenue the lottery's investigative arm and the Connecticut State Police.

Ziemak was hired in a unanimous vote by the board, Corey said. The board normally consists of 13 members, but there are some vacancies and not everyone was present at the time of the vote, he said. He said he wasn't sure how many were present.

There was no date selected for Ziemak to start the job, Corey said.

Corey said he has not talked with Ziemak since more information became available about the situation in Kansas, he said.

Late Friday the Connecticut lottery board issued this joint statement:

"The board of directors of the Connecticut Lottery Corp. is taking these concerns seriously and is looking into them as part of the background investigation that is normally conducted. Once this process is completed the board will issue a statement."

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