Arkansas lottery dismisses legal counsel

Helms worked at the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery from August 2016.
Helms worked at the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery from August 2016.

The lottery’s former legal counsel is considering filing a grievance after he was dismissed on the grounds that his services were no longer needed.

US.- The Arkansas Scholarship Lottery has dismissed its chief legal counsel, Michael Helms. Helms has said he is considering filing a grievance.

Helms said in a statement: “The reason that was given was my services were no longer needed and that’s all that was said.”

The former legal counsel worked at the lottery from August 2016, and on July 1 had received a raise from $112,386 to $115,364.

According to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, who requested Helms’ file under the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act, no specified reason for termination for recorded in the file.

But Scott Hardin, the state Department of Finance and Administration spokesperson, told the newspaper that any files that form the basis for dismissing or suspending an employee are not disclosable under the public information law.

Hardin added: “Mr. Helms has indicated he intends to request the opportunity to grieve his termination and that decision is not yet final. The request for a grievance must be made within 5 business days from the date of termination. By close of business Monday (December 14), the termination documentation may be released unless he requests a grievance.”

Helms was one of the employees who raised concerns about extending the lottery’s contract with Camelot Global Services. He told media he is unsure whether this had anything to do with his termination. Hardin insisted that the events were not connected.

Camelot recently went live with a new proprietary remote gaming server (RGS).