ATLANTA (CBS Atlanta/AP) — Top Georgia Lottery executives received large payouts and raises despite a law mean to curb bonuses.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports more than $260,000 worth of “incentive pay” went to top staffers in 2011. Then-Lottery President Margaret DeFrancisco received the largest amount, almost $83,000.
Lawmakers that year passed legislation to curtail bonuses for Lottery executives. At the time, both ticket sales and payments to state education programs were declining.
Georgia Lottery Board Chairman Jimmy Braswell says the organization followed the law.
“These kind of results don’t just happen,” Braswell told the Journal-Constitution. “They come from a lot of hard work. The spirit of the legislation was to tie any future incentives to performance … it seems to have worked pretty well.”
Lottery spokeswoman Tandi Reddick says the pay increases were a result of promotions and additional work taken on by top lottery executives.
A former lawmaker who pushed for limits, Bill Hembree of Winston, calls the payments disheartening. He says the General Assembly meant to stop all such bonuses.
“The intent was to stop the (bonus) process all together. It’s almost as if they are saying ‘Who cares what the Legislature thinks?’ ” Hembree told the paper. “It’s wrong. It just sends the wrong message when you’re cutting HOPE and cutting benefits to students.”
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