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Ark. Lottery vice president submits resignation

Another major shake-up at the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery, just two weeks after director Ernie Passailaigue says he's leaving, Vice President of Gaming David Barden walks away too.
LITTLE ROCK, AR- Another major shake-up at the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery, just two weeks after director Ernie Passailaigue says he's leaving, Vice President of Gaming David Barden walks away too.

Lottery sales are rolling along. But now the top two lottery pros are rolling out of Arkansas.

Vice President of gaming David Barden's resignation letter was effective September 30. And out-going director Ernie Passailaigue sent in his second resignation letter on Monday, moving his last day from October 7th to today.

"I didn't really know he was thinking about it,” lottery commission chairwoman Diane Lamberth says. “I knew Ernie was, but I had no idea David was. That's the only reason I was surprised I guess."

Barden's resignation comes less than 24 hours after legislative audit says it is looking again at travel expense reimbursements for both Barden and Passailaigue.

Lamberth says she's not worried about the audit.

“I always anticipate a good audit,” Lamberth says.

Barden and Passailaigue are 2 of 3 high salaried lottery officials who came from South Carolina in 2009. Now only VP of Administration Ernestine Middleton remains.

“I'm not planning on resigning," Middleton told reporters afterwards.

Interim director Julie Baldridge says her goal is to make sure employee morale stays strong during the transition while the commission searches for a new director.

"The most important thing is to keep the operation stable," Baldridge says. “Everyone knows their job and everybody else job so we're going to be fine."
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