New documents show more questionable spending at Hoosier Lottery
Eyewitness News finds more wasteful spending inside the Hoosier Lottery. 13 Investigates first the broke the story showing you millions spent on the Lottery's new headquarters. Now we've uncovered more expenses that are sure to raise more questions.
Following a legal battle with the Lottery, 13 Investigates now has hundreds of pages of new documents detailing expenses and plans associated with the Hoosier Lottery's new headquarters.
The documents include detailed invoices released at WTHR's request, and they show more questionable spending related to the Lottery's luxurious new building. Dozens of invoices are for an interior decorator.
The Hoosier Lottery hired Drake Interiors of Carmel and paid the owner of the company and her husband $100 an hour (their son got $50 an hour) to shop for items such as hangers, bookends, shower curtains, lamps, and lint brushes at Pier 1, Luxe and Bed Bath & Beyond. They picked out thousands of dollars worth of artwork and knickknacks to decorate the offices.
In the largest of the Lottery's nine conference rooms, invoices show two lamps each cost $183, a tray was $59, some baskets were $25 apiece, two paintings were a combined $606, and three trash cans were $154 each. By the time you add up those items, along with all the $319 mirrors, $200 clocks and $800 barstools, the total bill for the interior decorators came to $15,000 for design time, shopping and all the purchased decorations.
The newly-released documents also show the Lottery spent thousands for things it already had. The Lottery sent ten old refrigerators, microwaves and dishwashers to auction where they sold for a combined $350 -- pennies on the dollar. The Lottery then spent thousands to buy all those same appliances brand new for its new headquarters.
"Those decisions were made by Kathryn and or her staff," Lottery commission chairman William Zielke said last month at a news conference where he called many of the purchases "an error in judgment."
At that time, Zielke also said he didn't know anything about the lavish expenses and that the governor's office didn't know about them either. He said it all came to light after it was exposed by Eyewitness News.
"It came to my attention through the media," Zielke said.
But visitor sign-in logs obtained by 13 Investigates show officials from the governor's office and state budget office visited the Lottery's new headquarters in April and again in June. In September, WTHR saw more officials from the governor's office, the budget office and the Department of Administration leaving the Lottery's new headquarters – raising questions about claims that officials within Governor Daniels' administration were unaware of the spending inside.
As for the Lottery commissioners, Eyewitness News has learned they were inside the new offices at least six times to attend meetings between March and September even though they claim they knew nothing about the excessive spending.
The information just publicly released by the Lottery was requested by WTHR in mid-September. The Hoosier Lottery agreed to provide most of the information to WTHR on September 28, but after WTHR exposed questionable spending within the new Lottery building, Lottery officials then chose to withhold the documents for six more weeks.
WTHR has asked both the governor's office and the state budget office to respond to this report, but so far neither has responded with answers to any of our questions.
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