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State Leaders Announce Lottery Commission Appointments

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RALEIGH, N.C. — Former Glaxo Inc. chief executive Charles Sanders will lead the North Carolina Lottery Commission, the office of Gov. Mike Easley said Thursday.

Sanders, who ran for the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate in 1996, will head up a nine-member commission that will oversee the creation of the new North Carolina education lottery.

One of the commission's first tasks will be to hire an executive director and choose a lottery operator that can help get out the first scratch cards as early as next spring.

"Charles Sanders has a strong record of running, directing and advising major corporations around the country," Easley said in a prepared statement. "It would be difficult to match his qualifications to help guide this new endeavor to a successful start."

Easley's office also confirmed his other four appointments to the board, including Crime Control and Public Safety Secretary Bryan Beatty and former Easley aide John McArthur. Other Easley appointments are Linda Carlisle of Greensboro and Wilson attorney Robert Farris Jr.

House Speaker Jim Black, D-Mecklenburg, named radio station owner and former Democratic operative Kevin Geddings of Charlotte and former state Board of Transportation member Gordon Myers as his two appointees.

Senate leader Marc Basnight, D-Dare, appointed former Charlotte city councilman Malachi Greene and Wilmington accountant Robert Appleton.

"These appointments bring our state one step closer to generating much-needed funding for our schools and our children," Easley said. "We have entrusted the commissioners with a great responsibility to ensure the integrity of the education lottery in North Carolina.

The law creating the commission required a certified public accountant to sit on the board. Beatty's appointment fulfills the requirement that the commission include a member with at least five years of law enforcement experience.

McArthur is vice president and general counsel for Progress Energy Inc. Geddings is a former chief of staff to South Carolina Gov. Jim Hodges who recently bought a radio station in Monroe.

Easley's appointees - not including Farris - combined gave at least $10,500 to the governor's 2004 re-election campaign, according to campaign finance reports filed with the State Board of Elections.

The lottery law requires at least 35 percent of gross revenues to be returned to the state for public school construction projects, need-based college scholarships and class-size reduction and More at Four preschool initiatives.

The Easley administration projects net profits of $420 million in the 2006-07 fiscal year from the lottery. The winning contractor for the game could receive tens of millions of dollars annually.

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