LITTLE ROCK — Members of the state Lottery Commission on Tuesday directed the lottery director to renegotiate the terms of the lottery’s contract with its outside legal counsel.
Lottery Director Bishop Woosley told the commission’s Audit and Legal Committee that the lottery has barely used the services of Mitchell, Williams, Selig, Gates & Woodyard PLLC of Little Rock, which has been its outside counsel since last February. Former Lottery Commissioner Derrick Smith is employed by the firm, which receives a $1,500 monthly retainer from the lottery.
Woosley told the committee that Smith had suggested the lottery’s contract with the firm could be terminated to save money that could be better spent on college scholarships.
Commissioner Bruce Engstrom of North Little Rock moved instead that Woosley ask the Mitchell firm to agree to drop its retainer or, alternatively, agree to terminate the contract, which expires in February 2014. The motion passed with no "no" votes heard.
Also Tuesday, the Audit and Legal Committee approved a motion by Engstrom to recommend to the full commission that lottery officials be directed to reimburse employees for the cost of maintaining profession licenses, with no need to consult beforehand with the commission.
It has been the lottery’s general practice to cover such costs for employees, but currently there is no standing policy to that effect.