Lottery head: Allegations "political" - 13 WTHR Indianapolis

Lottery head: Allegations "political"

Lottery Director Esther Schneider. Lottery Director Esther Schneider.
This is the ten page anonymous document containing allegations against Schneider. This is the ten page anonymous document containing allegations against Schneider.

Kevin Rader/Eyewitness News

Indianapolis - The Indiana State Lottery is all about numbers. They tell us whether we win or lose. Here are some numbers that may have turned a game into something much bigger.

When Esther Schneider took over the Lottery in 2005 she inherited 220 employees. Now she has 190. Some left by attrition, but about half didn't. That has led to lawsuits and now allegations.

Schneider told us, "I guarantee you I am just one of many to come. They did the Criminal Justice Institute. They did FSSA. Here we go now it's the Lottery's turn. Who's next?"

Apparently she is. A ten-page anonymous complaint was filed with the state's Inspector General last week alleging misconduct by Schneider ranging from discrimination to steering contracts to friends.

Schneider says to bring it on. "The IG hopefully will come in and look at all these issues because this is a document out there about me."

Several of the items mirror concerns brought by Lottery employees that led to an internal audit which found she did not violate any state rules or law. But Schneider also released a document showing she unknowingly violated state statute regarding payout deadlines on scratch-off lottery games but she says the problem was stopped.

"So if there are other things that need to be investigated, come on," she said.

Jennifer Wagner posted the anonymous complaint on her partisan Democratic website. Wagner says the response has been very good. "I am already over 1,000 today," she said, "and that usually doesn't happen until like ten o'clock at night."

The fact that all state lawmakers and State Democratic Party Headquarters, where Wagner works, received a copy of the allegations at the same time leads Schneider to label this as political. Wagner disputes that.

"This has nothing to do with the Indiana Democratic Party," she said.

That is not all Schneider has a problem with. She said, "If you had a legitimate complaint why not sign your name to it and go through the appropriate steps. This way is a coward's way of doing this and you know what? Shame on them."

But the irony is Schneider's boss, Governor Mitch Daniels, put the very system in place that allows for anonymous complaints.

Esther Schneider is willing to fight back openly because she says these allegations are false. Eyewitness News has confirmed the Inspector General received the allegations against Schneider but will say nothing more.

The State Lottery Commission will be meeting next week.

Read the full complaint

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