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Ex-lottery official’s travel investigated

LITTLE ROCK, ARK. — The former head of the Arkansas Lottery – who once headed South Carolina’s lottery as well – and one of his chief deputies spent about a quarter of their working days last year on personal trips out of the state, legislative auditors said Thursday.

The auditors said the records were unclear on whether proper leave time was recorded for former Director Ernie Passailaigue and former Vice President for Gaming David Barden. The lottery’s general counsel, Bishop Woosley, said the audit’s findings had been referred to prosecutors.

Passailaigue and Barden resigned this year after complaints about the games’ management.

The review, presented to the Legislative Joint Audit Committee, said Passailaigue was on non-business travel to South Carolina, where he maintains a residence, for 27 percent of his working days. Auditors said Barden spent 21 percent of his working days on non-business travel to South Carolina or Maine, where he maintains residences.

The trips included instances where Passailaigue and Barden went to South Carolina at the end of business trips.

Passailaigue flew to South Carolina on the last day of the trip on 10 of 16 business trips.

Barden traveled to the state on the last day of seven of 10 business trips, the audit said.

Passailaigue, who is also the former director of South Carolina’s lottery, was hired in 2009 to start Arkansas’ lottery.

Legion Post to bury unidentified ashes

GOOSE CREEK, S.C. — A Goose Creek American Legion post is holding a Veterans Day ceremony to bury unidentified ashes believed to be those of a dead Marine.

A Marine walked into the post about a year ago and said he wanted to drop off the ashes of another Marine.

He said he got them from a woman who bought them at a flea market. They apparently came from the sale of a storage unit’s contents. The ashes are in a small gray box with a Marine Corps insignia.

Post officials say they contacted a cemetery but were told it can’t bury unidentified ashes. So the post is burying the ashes today beside a soldier’s cross on the grounds of the post.

– From wire reports


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