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California governor names lottery director

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The California Governor has appointed a new director for the California Lottery. Credits: California Lottery

The governor of California named a new lottery director after Hugo Lopez announced his departure.

US.- California Governor Gavin Newson has appointed a new director for the California Lottery. Alva Vernor Johnson will take over the position after Hugo Lopez announced that he would be stepping down last week.

Johnson has previously worked for the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians and the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians, and both tribes operate casinos. He also worked in a legislative team for the lottery in 2001.

Lopez revealed on an email to the lottery employees that he was stepping gown but did not specify the reasons why. However, there has been controversy around the agency’s spending and individual misconduct.

“The Lottery has demonstrated record sales each year that I have been here and is on course to surpass US$7 billion in revenue this fiscal year,” Lopez wrote in the email. “More importantly, contributions to public education have also seen record levels during this time period, with this year’s contribution anticipated to move closer to US$2 billion.”

Last year, an audit alleged that there had been more than US$300k in questionable spending over the last four years, mostly under Lopez’s role. Some of the improper spendings include travel, food and gifts to employees. Furthermore, California Lottery employees said in May that they were cooperating with the Department of Justice in an investigation into hiring irregularities and other misconduct problems in the agency.

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