by Max Brantley
An Arkansas Lottery Commission subcommittee met today to discuss continuing efforts to respond to shortcomings in a legislative audit and put procedures in place to avoid repeat unfavorable findings.
New: The subcommittee agreed with a plan proposed by legal counsel Bishop Woosley to offset accrued leave payments owed both former director Ernie Passailaigue and his top aide, David Barden, by about $600 each was reimbursed for unused return plane tickets on four business trips to see lottery vendors in Georgia. Instead of flying back to Little Rock, the men went on to homes in South Carolina.
Commissioner Bruce Engstrom said this plan would demonstrate to the IRS that the lottery had not allowed employees to retain money for expenses not properly documented and also responded to Legislative Audit's desire that the lottery recoup as much as possible in questioned expenses. Without the offsent, Engstrom said the amounts might have to be reported as taxable income to the men on W-2 forms. These unused plane tickets for which the men were reimbursed don't constitute all of the expenses challenged by auditors in the course of the men making home visits. That matter remains under review by the Pulaski prosecuting attorney.
The subcommittee discussed a variety of new oversight procedures on travel expenses.