Major changes are heading to the Hoosier Lottery headquarters on 13th and Meridian in downtown Indianapolis after allegations state leaders misspent public funds.
Fox59 caught up with former Hoosier Lottery Executive Director Kathryn Densborn at her home on East Pennsylvania Street on Thursday. The former director, who resigned in October, quit after getting heat for spending an estimated $25,000 on gym equipment for employees to work out. Not just that, but documents reveal the state paid hundreds of dollars for bar stools to art work to hang on the wall.
The chairman of the board said mistakes were made and the cost cutting moves hope to get the public confidence back.
“The lottery is dependent on the confidence of the public. So if each and every one of these steps improves and restores if necessary that confidence than these are absolutely the right things to do,” said Commission Chairman William Zielke. “They need to be done as quickly as possible.”
What are the immediate changes? The Hoosier Lottery will now get a roommate to fill its first floor office. The roommate is another state agency, the Horse Racing Commission. That move will help save taxpayers $70,000 a year.
The acting executive director donated the $25,000 gym to the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy, which trains police statewide. The equipment they have needs replacing.
"So much of their fitness equipment is old, " said interim executive director Megan Ornellas. "So our equipment is very much appreciated."
The commission will include an audit committee to review expenditures that added up to more than $100,000.
Some of the furniture can`t be sold back, including the bar stools or the art on the wall. However eight red chairs are going to be sold through an online auction.
Karl Browning, the former chair of INDOT, will take over as executive director, earning a salary of $106,000. He will start Monday. He will make what Densborn was making.
The decision to hire Browning was up to the Governor’s office.
Chairmkan Zielke did not point out any one expenditure as being a waste of money.
"This is sort of a forest through the trees like of thing," laughed Chairman Zielke. "It ended up being everything collectively."