|Updated: 2/06/2012 5:47 pm
||Published: 2/06/2012 1:23 pm
LITTLE ROCK, AR - The new leader of the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery will earn a significantly lower salary than his predecessor.
The lottery commission voted Monday to set the maximum salary at $175,000 for a new director.
Former lottery director Ernie Passailaigue earned $330,000. Passailaigue resigned last year and two other highly compensated deputies left as well.
Commission chairperson Diane Lamberth says the situation now is different than in 2009.
"We all had reservations when we approved that salary, but all nine of us decided in the end that is what it was going to take to get us up and starting as quickly as we hoped we could," Lamberth says. "I hope taxpayers will have a comfort level now that they know we're not in start-up anymore. Here we are, we're running smoothly, we're doing well, it's time to bring someone in now to continue and increase our net proceeds."
According to information provided by the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery, the $175,000 salary amount would rank as the 10th highest of the 43 states that have a lottery.
The commission also pared down the list of 96 candidates for the job down to seven.
The finalists include Bill Stovall who served as Speaker of the House in the Arkansas general assembly, as well as lottery chief legal counsel Bishop Woosley.
The other candidates are Richard Knight of Little Rock, New Hampshire lottery executive director Charles McIntyre, former Clinton aide Bob Nash, Georgia lottery vice president Joan Schoubert and Edwin Van Petten the former executive director of the Kansas lottery.