The California Lottery is postponing a planned sales conference in the wake of an anonymous employee’s recent complaint to Gov. Jerry Brown about senior leaders behaving inappropriately at a Southern California bar two years ago.
The department on Tuesday announced that it’s delaying the conference while it retools some of the training it intended to offer to focus on human resources and nondiscrimination policies.
The conference was expected to take place next week in Sacramento.
“The Lottery values staff training, which is why we will continue to invest in this effort at a time and in a manner that best benefits Lottery staff and our beneficiary — public education,” Lottery Deputy Director of Sales David Cole wrote.
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Cole does not explicitly mention the complaint that went to Brown’s administration earlier this month. Cole’s message refers to “recent events.”
The employee’s complaint to Brown included photographs of senior Lottery leaders carrying on at a dueling piano bar in Claremont, with one image allegedly showing an official with his head up a woman’s shirt. Performers at dueling piano bars often play up sexual themes.
“The scheduled training would currently serve as a distraction, rather than meet its objective of educating sales staff on new tools to assist our retailers, providing new Lottery equipment and product updates, and refreshing training on industry specific areas such as effective inventory management and merchandising,” Cole wrote.
Brown’s office last week announced that it asked the Attorney General’s Office to investigate the anonymous complaint. The State Controller’s Office also is auditing the Lottery’s financial management practices.
Lottery spokesman Russ Lopez declined to elaborate on Cole’s message. Last week, the state Lottery Commission said it is “reviewing the allegations outlined in an anonymous letter recently provided to the commission and the media. Appropriate action will be taken.”