California Lottery employees demand executive resignations over alleged misconduct

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SACRAMENTO — Five California Lottery employees on Thursday demanded the resignation of senior department executives amid an investigation into alleged misconduct on a work-related trip and an audit of expenses.

The five veteran employees asked for the resignations at the state Lottery Commission a month after an anonymous letter was sent to Gov. Jerry Brown's office with photos alleging that a senior leader had put his head under the front of a woman's shirt. The woman was not identified.

The letter said the photos were taken at a piano bar following a sales conference two years ago, and alleged that Lottery officials used crude language, disparaged employees and showed favoritism.

"This is unacceptable in state service. It is not who we are and it is time for these people to go," said Paulina Vasquez, a lottery sales representative and union shop steward, according to the Sacramento Bee .

Catherine Alvarado, a 25-year Lottery employee, said "it's time to bring back honesty, integrity, professionalism and trust to our management team."

Brown asked the attorney general's office to review the allegations in the letter, and Lottery employees say agents are beginning to interview workers.

Lottery Director Hugo Lopez and Lottery Commission Chairman Gregory Ahern outlined unfolding investigations into the allegations after the employees' remarks.

"Please be aware that these matters are being addressed," Ahern said.

Lopez said the department has stressed in recent training a state law that allows public employees to be disciplined if their actions discredit their employer.

"Whether or not any allegations are substantiated, this incident has served as a reminder of what is expected of Lottery employees," he said.

Separately, the state controller's office is conducting an audit of Lottery expenses.

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Information from: The Sacramento Bee, http://www.sacbee.com

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