An investigation into “HR irregularities” at the Ohio Lottery comes after director abruptly resigns

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (Statehouse News Bureau) — Gov. Mike DeWine wants an investigation of a series of complaints from the Ohio Lottery offices. The announcement of the probe comes after the state lottery director suddenly resigned this week.

Pat McDonald is sworn in by Governor Mike DeWIne as director of the Ohio Lottery in February 2019.
In a picture he posted on his Facebook page, Pat McDonald is sworn in as director of the Ohio Lottery in February 2019. [Pat McDonald | Facebook]
DeWine said an independent firm will check into allegations that he declined to elaborate on.

“This was a complaint that we had, or complaints that we had in in regard to personnel. And what we are doing now is going to we’re going to bring in an outside group. We think that’s the best thing to do and let them take take the information and the complaints that have been made, delve into it. We’ll find out what the facts are.”

DeWine confirmed two people from his office left the Cleveland lottery offices with Pat McDonald, who resigned as lottery director Wednesday, citing medical concerns. But DeWine said that the “rumor” that McDonald was escorted out by two Ohio State Highway Patrol troopers was “just simply not true”.

“Well, I’m not even sure ‘escorted’ is the right term,” DeWine said. “I mean, they went out. They certainly went out together. I was not there. So I can’t really tell you exactly, you know, how that how that came down.”

One of the two who left the building with McDonald was Stephanie McCloud, DeWine’s chief of staff, who had received McDonald’s resignation email.

McDonald’s photo and biography have been removed from the state’s website. The site now lists Michelle Gillcrist, the northeast Ohio regional director of DeWine’s office, as the interim head of the lottery.