Local News

5 Lottery Officials, Senator Asked To Testify In Geddings Trial

Posted September 13, 2006

— At least five people connected with the North Carolina Lottery Commission and an influential state senator have confirmed they are in line to testify in the coming trial of former lottery commissioner Kevin Geddings.

Geddings resigned as a commissioner of the newly established lottery in November, just before his financial ties to lottery company Scientific Games International were made public.

Prosecutors said he misled state officials by not reporting that his consulting firm received nearly $230,000 between 2001 and 2005 either from Scientific Games or a company it later acquired.

A federal grand jury indicted him in May on nine counts of mail and wire fraud. A trial is scheduled to begin Sept. 20.

Charles Sanders, who resigned from his post as chairman of the lottery commission on Tuesday, said he and his assistant have been called to appear at the trial. Three lottery commissioners -- Robert Farris, Bryan Beatty and John McArthur -- also said they have been asked to testify.

Beatty, the state Secretary of Crime Control and Public Safety, served with Geddings on a subcommittee that identified candidates to run the lottery. McArthur, an executive with Progress Energy, was appointed Wednesday by Gov. Mike Easley as the new chairman of the lottery commission.

The sponsor of the lottery legislation, Senate Majority Leader Tony Rand, D-Cumberland, also said the U.S. Attorney's office has asked him to testify.

Rand said Geddings prepared him for a forum prior to the lottery's passage, and the two later had dinner with Meredith Norris, a former aide to House Speaker Jim Black who also worked for Scientific Games.

There was no word Wednesday on whether Black had also been subpoenaed in the case.

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