Details emerge about CT Lottery CEO secretly recording board chairman in 2014
More ‘grimy laundry’ published by means of botched raffle draw investigation
Connecticut Lottery Corp. Vice President Chelsea Turner testified Tuesday that round 2014, she and then-lottery CEO Anne Noble had such suspicions about Frank Farricker, then chairman of the lottery’s governing board, that she contacted an agent she knew in the FBI — which then had Noble report Farricker secretly in no less than one assembly.
The small recording tool used to be hid inside of an eyeglass case, Turner testified underneath oath at a state Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities listening to.
The heretofore-undisclosed FBI inquiry it seems that by no means got here up with the rest value pursuing criminally and it seems that used to be dropped years in the past, Turner stated. Farricker stated Tuesday evening he’d by no means heard from the FBI and used to be “flabbergasted” at Turner’s feedback Tuesday suggesting there used to be reason why for suspicion.
Now that the years-old episode has come to gentle, it is unclear what importance it’s going to have in the CHRO’s final determination on ex-lottery safety leader Alfred DuPuis’ “whistleblower complaint” that he used to be the sufferer of retaliation by means of superiors in 2018.
But something it does end up is that simply about each and every scrap of grimy laundry is destined to be frolicked sooner than the turmoil of new years throughout the giant money-making company is in the end put to leisure, if ever.
Turner popped out with phrase of the FBI’s dip into the lottery’s affairs when she used to be being wondered by means of DuPuis’ legal professional, Eric Brown. He used to be asking her about her previous running dating with Farricker, an energetic Greenwich Democrat who used to be Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s appointee to go the lottery board. Farricker had simply completed with a few hours’ sworn testimony, in fortify of DuPuis’ claims that she had attempted to get Farricker to fireplace him for causes together with her trust (and Noble’s, allegedly) that DuPuis used to be now not a staff participant. Turner denied ever making the sort of request or having an issue running with DuPuis.
But Turner stated she “never trusted Frank Farricker” and stated she suspected him of unethical private dealings in keeping with movements she’d seen. Turner, who used to be in a lower-ranking process on the time however nonetheless a most sensible subordinate to Noble, stated each she and Noble had been “uncomfortable with Mr. Farricker. There’s a lot of reasons to be uncomfortable with Mr. Farricker. He operated by his own rules.”
Brown requested her whether or not she’d reported this to the Office of State Ethics, she stated no, however she’d talked to lottery board contributors about it. Then Brown adopted up with: “Apart from the reports that… you made to the board of directors, did you make reports about Frank Farricker’s s alleged nefarious actions to any other entity, person or body?”
“The FBI,” she stated.
Turner stated she went to school with an FBI agent who works in Connecticut, and inquired along with her buddy as to whom they may communicate to on the FBI. The buddy put Noble and Turner in contact with every other agent, she stated, and each met with that agent. Turner stated she believed she handiest met with the agent as soon as, however “Ms. Noble with the FBI a couple of times. They were interested enough where they had multiple meetings… They want as far as to wiretap her [although] I don’t know if ‘wiretap’ is the right word.”
It grew to become out to be the fallacious phrase, as she additional defined. “They used a recorder and they put it in a case like this,” she stated, conserving up her personal cushy eyeglass pouch. She added that Noble used the recorder “at a meeting” with Farricker “where they had conversations.”
Noble’s legal professional, Ray Hassett, showed Tuesday evening that “Ms. Noble was asked to wear a wire by the FBI. She did so willingly in connection with matters that were unrelated to her own acts or omissions and over which she shared serious concerns.” Noble’s movements “reflected her consistent desire and pursuit to ensure the integrity of the lottery and state government,” he stated. “At no time was she the subject of any wrongdoing.”
Brown requested Turner on the listening to how time and again Noble recorded Farricker, and Turner stated she did not know if it used to be greater than as soon as. She additionally did not know if Farricker used to be the one lottery respectable whose phrases had been recorded.
“You never told anybody either in the General Assembly, the governor’s office or the Connecticut Lottery [Corp.] that… Ms. Noble was recording surreptitiously conversations she was having with Frank Farricker?” Brown stated. He requested if she had ever informed DuPuis, the lottery’s director of safety, who used to be chargeable for making sure “the integrity of Connecticut’s lottery games.”
She stated no, as a result of “the concerns were more ethical concerns…. They weren’t concerns with [the] gaming system, necessarily. They were about business activities… I went to someone that was familiar to me.”
She gave a couple of examples. About 5 years in the past, Turner stated that even if her process used to be to in impact foyer for the lottery company with the General Assembly, Farricker had informed her as chairman of the lottery board to forestall chatting with lawmakers at the Keno factor, which she did even if she idea it used to be peculiar and felt fallacious. She stated she’d heard Farricker, who owns an actual property corporate, were lobbying for budget for a Norwalk nonprofit theater redevelopment challenge he used to be concerned in, including that she additionally wondered a Farricker settlement for a promotional contract with Mohegan Sun that wasn’t value what the lottery used to be paying.
DuPuis’s declare of retaliation stems from the lottery’s inside investigation of a million-dollar blunder in the New Year’s Super Draw on Jan. 1, 2018. Turner, as appearing lottery CEO at the moment, positioned DuPuis on paid administrative go away in mid-February of that 12 months from his $139,000-a-year process, pronouncing that the lottery’s inside probe discovered he had acted “with gross neglect… of his duties” because the boss of lottery workers who made a big mistake in settling on the successful numbers. The snafu resulted in a do-over drawing and a $1 million loss to the state.
Dupuis by no means returned from that go away to stand imaginable disciplinary motion that awaited him, however as a substitute he took circle of relatives go away and scientific go away, and in the end retired overdue in 2018. The present, ongoing CHRO hearings stem from a criticism he filed greater than a 12 months in the past, in search of reimbursement. He claims that the try to self-discipline him over the mishandled drawing used to be, in truth, a part of a development of retaliation towards him for his position 4 years in the past in exposing store fraud in the now-infamous five Card Cash sport. That fraud resulted in five Card Cash’s shutdown and, in the end, 15 arrests.
The five Card Cash scandal ended in power for Noble to leave as president/CEO of the lottery in September 2016, when she entered a debatable and profitable separation settlement that gave her an additional few months at the payroll in a consulting position and certified her for state retirement advantages.
After Noble surrender, Farricker stuffed in as period in-between CEO till May 2017, when he resigned after first making an attempt to transform everlasting CEO. Later in 2017, Farricker additionally paid a $five,000 high quality to the state’s ethics company for billing the lottery for bills, together with his house cable TV, private cellular phone and web carrier, which he used to be ordered to reimburse.
Farricker had already left Tuesday’s listening to when the disclosures about the FBI inquiry got here up. Reached by means of telephone Tuesday evening, he stated, “The idea of the whole thing… I’m flabbergasted. I just don’t understand why this person” — Turner — “continues to regularly draw the lottery into one embarrassment after another.” He additionally stated of Noble: “Do you think that if the board of directors knew that she had surreptitiously recorded me in an eyeglass holder, they would have given her the generous settlement that they did? I’ve got to ask, when does this nonstop embarrassment end?”