NATIONAL NEWS

Ex-Ohio Lottery director conduct toward staff found improper

May 5, 2023, 12:26 PM

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The sudden resignation last month of Ohio’s lottery director came after he inappropriately touched two employees and sent texts “expressing inappropriate fondness and innuendo” to members of his staff, according to an independent investigation released Friday.

The review by Zashin & Rich law firm determined that Pat McDonald’s behavior violated Ohio Lottery Commission policy against inappropriate conduct in the workplace.

The firm, enlisted by Republican Gov. Mike DeWine, also found that McDonald’s assistant lottery director had knowledge of his inappropriate behavior but failed to take action. The assistant director will be demoted out of management and reassigned to a different state agency in a lower classification and pay grade, the state’s human resources department said.

DeWine’s chief of staff and chief counsel had traveled to Cleveland on April 11 to confront McDonald about the unwanted behavior alleged by a subordinate — which he “explicitly denied” — when he told them he had “a significant medical condition” and was considering retiring, the report said. McDonald left the job the next morning, precluding further disciplinary action or review, according to the report.

McDonald had been a fixture at the Ohio Lottery for 16 years, serving first as a member and long-time chair of the Ohio Lottery Commission before DeWine appointed him director in 2019.

The series of events that led to his resignation began in late February, when a lottery employee reported that McDonald had touched and hugged them in a way that made the employee uncomfortable. The human resources director told McDonald his behavior was unwelcome and he apologized. The employee told human resources they were “satisfied that the behavior was addressed and would not continue,” the report said.

On April 6, the employee called to report another instance of misconduct. The lottery’s human resources director held a meeting with McDonald on April 10, after which the governor’s office was informed of “potential policy violations,” investigators found.

The review ultimately found that McDonald had inappropriately touched two employees on the arms, shoulders and forehead, given an unwanted hug, sent texts “expressing inappropriate fondness and innuendo” to two employees, and made “verbal comments about the appearance of two employees.”

The governor has appointed Michelle Gillcrist, his former aerospace and defense liaison and northeast Ohio regional liaison, to fill McDonald’s role on an interim basis.

Zashin & Rich has recommended mandatory training of all lottery employees on appropriate workplace conduct and agency policy prohibiting conduct at work that’s potentially offensive, harassing or retaliatory. They also urged the administration to promptly alert the assistant lottery director and every member of management of their responsibility to report misconduct.

National News

Associated Press

89-year-old comedian recovering after she was randomly punched on New York street

NEW YORK (AP) — An 89-year-old comedian is recovering after being randomly punched and knocked to the ground while waiting to cross a street in New York earlier this month. D’yan Forest said she had just stopped at a coffee shop and was heading to a swimming pool when someone came up to her from […]

16 minutes ago

The Butler Farm Show, site of a campaign rally for Republican presidential candidate former Preside...

Associated Press

Gunman in Trump rally attack flew drone over rally site in advance of event, official says

WASHINGTON (AP) — The gunman in the attempted assassination of former President Donald Trump is believed to have flown a drone around the Pennsylvania rally site ahead of time in an apparent attempt to scope out the site before the event, a law enforcement official said Saturday. The drone has been recovered by the FBI, […]

4 hours ago

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump and Melania Trump during the final ...

Associated Press

Trump campaign releases letter on his injury, treatment after last week’s assassination attempt

NEW YORK (AP) — Donald Trump’s campaign released an update on the former president’s health Saturday, one week after he survived an attempted assassination at a rally in Butler, Pennsylvania. The memo, from Texas Rep. Ronny Jackson, who served as Trump’s White House physician, offers new details on the nature of the GOP nominee’s injuries […]

4 hours ago

Associated Press

California officials say largest trial court in US victim of ransomware attack

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A ransomware attack has shut down the computer system of the largest trial court in the country, officials with the Superior Court of Los Angeles County said. The cybersecurity attack began early Friday and is not believed to be related to the faulty CrowdStrike software update that has disrupted airlines, hospitals […]

5 hours ago

iPhones are displayed during an event in Cupertino, Calif., on Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2019. A 12-year-o...

Associated Press

A 12-year-old girl is accused of smothering her 8-year-old cousin over an iPhone

HUMBOLDT, Tenn. (AP) — A 12-year-old girl in Tennessee has been charged with murder, accused of smothering her 8-year-old cousin as the younger girl slept. A relative said they had been arguing over an iPhone. A security camera recorded the killing, inside the bedroom they shared on July 15 in Humboldt, Tennessee, the county prosecutor […]

6 hours ago

Associated Press

Man in custody after 4 found dead in Brooklyn apartment attack, NYPD says

NEW YORK (AP) — The New York Police Department says it has taken a man into custody in connection with the deaths of a grandmother, a mother and her two children in the family’s Brooklyn apartment. Police said in a statement Saturday that officers responded to a report late Friday night of an assault, and […]

6 hours ago

Ex-Ohio Lottery director conduct toward staff found improper