Local News

Papers Suggest Close Ties Between Former Lottery Member, Vendor

Posted November 2, 2005

— Documents filed with the North Carolina Secretary of State show a lottery company paid Kevin Geddings' public relations firm more than $24,000 during the legislative session that passed the lottery.

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Geddings was a member of the nine-member commission appointed to create a statewide lottery. From the time he joined the commission, he downplayed his relationship with the lottery company Scientific Games. He referred to past ties, but expense reports from lobbyists show a closer connection between him and the vendor.

Records also show much more correspondence with House Speaker Jim Black than first thought. Scientific Games paid Black's political director to treat the speaker and other lawmakers to several dinners at Triangle restaurants. Geddings resigned just before these expense reports were filed.

In a statement from his office, House Speaker Jim Black's staff indicated the disclosure is new to them, saying "Speaker Black was very surprised and disappointed to learn late Kevin Geddings' PR firm had an on-going business relationship with Scientific Games, and had he known this before, he would not have appointed him to the lottery commission."

Geddings stepped down Tuesday. He is the second member of the lottery commission to resign in recent weeks. Former Charlotte City Council member Malachi Greene cited his health and a lack of time for his resignation.

Charlie Sanders, who runs the commission, was also surprised about Geddings' involvement. Sanders told WRAL that Geddings assured him that he had disclosed everything about his relationship with Scientific Games.

Geddings has not returned calls from WRAL for comment.


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