Lottery fires worker 2 days after he sent scathing e-mail
Houston Chronicle - Nov 4, 2005 - 11:58 PM

Lottery fires employee who said emergency center doesn't work
Associated Press - Nov 4, 2005 - 5:30 PM

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Originally Posted: Nov 5, 2005
Revised:


TLC Moving EquipmentTo Recovery Site
Hearing set at Capitol for Monday, Nov 14th - 11 AM. We want
resignations. Read Nov 7th & 8th postings. Click here

A Texas Lottery Employee With Courage - by
Lottery Workers email rips agency -
Houston Chronicle
November 4, 2005 - Click here


Watch the Nov 14th hearing at the Capitol, .

Public Comments from those who watched the hearing, Click here.

My Nov 17, 2005 Interview
Texas Public Radio- Texas Matters. Listen to
Nov 18, 2005 (#273) story. Very interesting!



Lottery fires worker 2 days after he sent scathing e-mail
The analyst had told lawmakers of alleged failures at the agency

By R.G. RATCLIFFE
Copyright 2005 Houston Chronicle Austin Bureau
Nov. 4, 2005, 11:28PM

AUSTIN - The Texas Lottery fired a whistle-blower Friday, two days after he sent an e-mail to lawmakers outlining a number of problems and an atmosphere of intimidation at the $3.5 billion agency.

Shelton Charles, a network analyst who oversees much of the lottery's technical operations, wrote that agency management misled lawmakers about an emergency control center that doesn't work, blocked open record requests and bullied employees into secrecy about problems.

Charles said he was fired about 4 p.m. after meeting with supervisors.

"They figured if they'd fire me they'd shut me up because I'd be too busy trying to survive to cause them any more problems," Charles said.

Lottery spokesman Bobby Heith declined to talk about Charles, saying, "We don't discuss personnel matters."

Charles said he met Friday morning with supervisors who had a long list of questions on what he knew about failures at the emergency control center. Charles said a personal attorney had told him to ask for the questions in writing before answering them.

Charles said that later in the day he was told he was being fired as an "at will" employee who committed insubordination by refusing to answer the questions.

"I didn't refuse to answer them. I just wanted them in writing," he said.

Charles said he thinks the real reason he was fired was to get him out of the agency so he could not collect any more information about his complaints to legislators.

"The real reason they fired me was because they were more afraid of me being there than not being there," Charles said.

Charles made his claims in an e-mail sent Wednesday to state Reps. Corbin Van Arsdale and Kino Flores. Flores chairs the House Licensing and Regulation Committee.

"I have been at the lottery for almost 10 years," Charles wrote. "I have reached the point where I want to speak out on these issues. I hope that there are still people who want to give the Texas Lottery back to the PEOPLE of Texas."

Milda Mora, chief clerk for the committee Flores oversees, said she was familiar with some of Charles' accusations and that Flores and the committee will seek specifics.

Mora said Flores had not yet heard about Charles' firing.

Charles' first accusation is that the lottery's disaster recovery or business resumption site — a concrete bunker — "has never been operational." The Legislature required state agencies to develop such sites in the mid-1990s to keep state government operational in the event of an emergency,

Charles' comments on problems with the facility echo those of several former employees interviewed by the Chronicle in the past few months.

"Management has been hiding this fact through their lies and manipulation of information," Charles wrote. "Employees have been threatened with their jobs if (they) spoke about this to anyone."

The Austin site, which cost more than $1.3 million to build and maintain, includes a steel-reinforced concrete bunker-like structure with walls 3 feet thick, according to several employees.

"Millions have been spent on the site and the cover-up continues," Charles wrote.

He also said in his letter that the Lottery Commission regularly tries to block requests for public information that might reveal wrongdoing. He wrote that he made the assertions at the risk of losing his job, but he decided to go public when he received a negative evaluation, which he took to mean that the agency was about to fire him.

The lottery has been criticized for a pattern of firing qualified employees, without explanation, even though many received positive evaluations. Charles said the hostile workplace still exists.

Charles, who is black, said he filed a discrimination lawsuit with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.




Lottery fires employee who said emergency center doesn't work

Associated Press - 5:30 PM - Nov 4, 2005

AUSTIN - The Texas Lottery fired a senior systems analyst on Friday, hours after a newspaper reported he had sent a scathing e-mail to two state lawmakers claiming the agency misled the Legislature about an emergency control center that he says doesn't work.

Shelton Charles told The Associated Press he was fired Friday afternoon for insubordination after he refused to answer lottery officials' questions about the emergency operations center unless they put them in writing.

Lottery spokesman Bobby Heith said he couldn't discuss Charles' allegations and couldn't confirm or deny his firing because both are personnel issues.

Charles' Wednesday e-mail to state Reps. Corbin Van Arsdale and Ismael "Kino" Flores, chairman of the House Licensing and Regulation Committee, was made public in Friday's editions of the Houston Chronicle.

Charles said the lottery's disaster recovery or business resumption site, which the Legislature required state agencies to develop in the mid-1990s, has never been operational. The site is meant to allow lottery employees to carry out their duties if a disaster destroys the agency's Austin headquarters.

Flores is looking into Charles' allegations and is seeking more information, said Milda Mora, chief clerk for the committee the Democratic lawmaker chairs. She said she didn't know if he'd schedule a committee meeting to discuss the claims.

In his e-mail, Charles also said the agency tries to block public information requests that might reveal wrongdoing and bullies employees into silence.

Charles said he wasn't surprised he was fired, adding that he decided to go public with his concerns when he received a negative job performance evaluation, which led him to believe he was going to be fired anyway.

"When I made the decision, I made it with the understanding that this could happen," he said.

Charles, who is black, said he recently filed an employee discrimination lawsuit with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, citing unequal salary, treatment and advancement opportunities at the lottery.


A Texas Lottery Employee With Courage - by
Lottery Workers email rips agency - Houston Chronicle
Nov 4, 2005 - AM - Click here.

Lottery's At-Will Firings Keep Employees On Edge
Houston Chronicle - Posted 8/8/05 - Click here

(TX) Lottery Commission's personnel policies questioned (AP Wire)
& They Won The Jackpot ... Lottery money can bring mixed blessings
Posted August 4, 2005 - Click here

Lottery Troubles Everywhere & Message To TLC Employees!
Columnist's slams of Texas Lottery going unnoticed in Austin
Editorial by Ken Rodriguez - Express-News Staff Writer
Ex-Employees (Texas) Sends Video And They Request
that I relay a message to current employees - The sibkkc.ru
Click here to read all five stories

Two Stories As They Appear In
the Houston Chronicle & SA Express News
Lottery enlists help from outsiders by Lisa Falkenberg
There's still a chance for Lottery to lose even
more credibility by Ken Rodriguez
(Posted 7/23/05) Click here

E-mail To Lawmakers Reveal ...
Commissioner Cox, Gary Grief & Reagan Greer knew but
took NO action ... Apparently they chose to deceive the public. Click here.

True Findings Vanish From Final Audit Report (More Deception)
Lottery Watchdog's Bite 5 Years In Making (About Me)

Click here

- Two Stories And One Editorial By Me -
Lottery losing more than sales — it's losing credibility

Editorial by Ken Rodriguez - San Antonio Express News
Lottery chief gets blame for inflated jackpots
Editorial by Karen Brooks - Dallas Morning News
I Was Frustrated ... About Gary Grief, Kim Kiplin,
Diane Morris & the Commissioners.

Editorial by The sibkkc.ru
Posted July 3, 2005 - Click here

A Special Message To All TLC
Employees - Past & Present

Click here.

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