Former SC lottery chief resigns from Arkansas lottery post

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) -- The embattled director of the Arkansas Lottery has resigned.

The Arkansas Lottery Commission announced Monday morning that Ernie Passailaigue resigned after a series of public missteps. His resignation is effective Oct. 7.
Passailaigue served as the South Carolina Lottery Chief until June 2009.

Passailaigue, a former state senator, helped start the games in our state in 2002. He had the games up and running four months after he was hired.

The Arkansas commission held a closed meeting Monday morning to discuss personnel performance. Commission chairwoman Dianne Lamberth announced the resignation afterward. Spokeswoman Julie Baldridge will serve as interim director.

Passailaigue was hired two years ago to start Arkansas' lottery for college scholarships.

A legislative audit last year criticized the lottery's management practices. And earlier this year, it was revealed that the lottery owed nearly $100,000 to the Internal Revenue Service for penalties and interest for late deposits.

Gov. Mike Beebe called the mistake "inexcusable" but did not say then that Passailaigue should be removed.

Passailaigue made $324,000 as excutive director of Arkansas's lottery commission. Passailaigue made $226,829 a year as SC's lottery chief.

Copyright The Associated Press 2011.