Part 2 Of A 4 Part Series ... TLC Employees ... Have Things Improved For Them? Read June 7th Entry Below ...

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A Four Part Series
- Part 1 - June 6, 2006 - About Director Sadberry and
the SAO Security Report , Click Here
- Part 2 - June 7, 2006 - Are the TLC Employees Happy
Now? - Scroll Down
- Part 3 - June 15, 2006 - SAO Reports, About the Integrity
of our Games, Scratc Tickets, Plus Much More ... Click here
Part 4 - In Memory of Mark Bradshaw - Click here

Tuesday, June 13, 2006 - 4:50 PM - Well, I hate this but I'm going to have to hold off one more day before posting Part 3 and then Part 4. This is not my choice but in the act of trying to be FAIR, I must. Included in Part 3 is a story about "Quality Control." Yesterday I left a message for Bobby Heith to call me because I had a question.

Because I had to leave and he had not returned my call, at 3:05 pm I sent him an email asking one very simple question which was, "Can you tell me who has the job of "Quality Control" now? I just need the staff members name."

When I returned last night, Bobby had left a message on my phone recorder that said in essence, "Got your email and have spoken with John Shaw - Acting Director of HR. Neither of us are sure what position you're talking about. We don't think we have a position of "Quality Control" on our Organizational Chart. We need more specifics that better describe what you're wanting."

I immediately responded last night - I wrote, "As per your phone call questioning this job title - Who is doing the job that Chuck Wilson then Jim Siegler did - it was called Quality Control."

It's 4:50 p.m. now and I still have no response from the TLC and I have to leave now. Therefore, I cannot post my story as planned. Quality Control WAS the heart and soul regarding the integrity of our games and the RUMOR is that no one is doing this job and hasn't since the 2004 reorganization. The RUMOR is that G-Tech and Scientific Games is handling this function FOR the TLC with NO oversight by a state employee. I must confirm this rumor before I post my story and explanations.

Attention TLC: All I need is a TLC employee name that literally validates sales reported by G-Tech, checks and verifies computer codes, tapes, etc - anything electronic about the games that insures integrity and security of all the games ....including validating G-Tech and Scientific Games sales reports. Surely it can't take this long to find out what state employee is responsible for this VIP job function. Tell me, who took over the "Quality Control" job after Jim Siegler was let go in 2004 - who is responsible for this job NOW?

June 8, 2006- 9:15 PM - (Revised 6-9-06 - 10:45AM) I have decided to hold off posting Part 3 until Tuesday, June 13. As you can see, I've also decided to make this a 4 part series because I want to tell the story of Mark Bradshaw - in his memory - and his story is how I will close this series. After all, he was an ex-employee too.

I've wanted to tell Mark's story for 2 years and I feel now is the right time. I've heard so much about him that I feel like I knew him. IF any of you want to share something about Mark to let everyone know how well he was liked, loved, respected and appreciated - I will post your remarks with my story. I will NOT post your names but I am requesting that you identify yourself to me. You don't have to - but - I'd truly appreciate it if you would. In your messages, please put in the subject line - Mark Bradshaw.

Part 3 will be posted Tuesday, June 13, 2006 - PM - and Part 4 will be posted next Wednesday, June 14, 2006 - PM.

June 8, 2006 - 11:15AM - Revisions to the June 7th Editorial Below - Corrected the amount shown for salaries saved in 2004. I originally posted a figure of $235K and it should have been $300K. I also increased the average salary to $8K - not $6K! Additionally I added a link to a story in the Houston Chronicle about how "final" reports don't always jive with DRAFT reports.

June 7, 2006 - Part 2 of a 4 Part Series - First let me update you with regards to yesterday's editorial. The TLC updated their web site this morning to reflect the organizational changes and they removed Diane Morris' name as Director of HR. Now, what I didn't say yesterday, is that Stephen White is shown as the "Enforcement Chief" - problem is - I don't believe he carries that title now. I could be wrong, but this was my understanding. So IF by chance I am right, staff should have corrected this as well. Either way, I must say that this was the fastest response I've ever had to updating the TLC web site when I've mentioned something that needed fixing.

Now let's move on to the topic of audits and surveys - recent and past - and the "reported" results. Surveys and audits are conducted either by in-house staff or outside vendors.

Understand The Process -
The TLC hires an outside firm to conduct a study for them on a given topic. They are suppose to post a request for a bid before selecting a firm. The firm hired prepares a survey/questionnaire, methodology for obtaining the info, obtains the data then compiles the data.

Then the firm ALWAYS submits a "DRAFT" report before submitting a Final Report. Management and Legal review the findings. Then management submits their "comments" or "suggested revisions" to the firm and then the firm makes whatever adjustments to their "final" report and in the end, submits a "Final" report. This same process applies when the audit is done "in-house."

The "Final" report becomes a "public" document.

In my observations, "final" reports have rarely reflected the whole TRUTH.
Let me cite a few examples ...

1) Player research (demographics) for years concluded that folks that earn over $50K play the games - however, that was never really true.

In Jan 2005, Texas Tech provided the first truthful "Player Research" report during the Jan 2005 commission meeting although the "final" report was ultimately changed as requested by TLC management. The Dallas Morning News also conducted a study which supported Texas Tech's conclusions.

Player research is a requirement set forth by the Texas Legislature - our legislators want to know who supports the games of Texas. Until Jan 2005, they never really knew the truth. This caused a big stink because the Texas Lottery lost advertising money as a result of them learning the truth!

2) In 1999, the TLC reported that players supported a Lotto Texas matrix change to 6/54. The TLC concluded this by conducting "player research" meetings in several major cities across Texas. The methodology used - they found 10 people in each city to come together for round table discussions and had them fill out surveys.

It's important to note - the 10 people consisted mostly of non-players or people who rarely played the lottery. In the final [public] report, one group's input was totally thrown out. You know why - because ONE person in that group understood what was "really" going on - so - the TLC claims he influenced the other 9 people so they threw out their input altogether. Bottom line, they didn't say what the TLC wanted to hear.

3) In 2003, Ipsos Reid was hired to do a study on which Multi State Game Texas should join. The real results was that the People of Texas wanted to join Powerball. Management disagreed and so Texas joined Mega Millions. The state has never seen the projected income and this was never reported publicly either!

4) 2004 - State agencies survey their employees. The report is titled "Survey of Organizational Excellence." (Often referred to as the SOE Report) 2004 is when the TLC gutted Security and Marketing. They reduced the workforce (RIF) by approx 35 people. But the truth is - the TLC didn't really cut their salary expenses. They did report to the legislature that they had reduced their workforce as instructed and showed a savings to the state of something like $235K $300K as a result of the RIF.

BTW - That meant each employee who was laid off earned about $6K $8K per year. :))

Anyway, when the SOE report came out, they had horrible scores. So, Mr. Grief and Diane Morris decided that this wasn't a "fair" survey because of all those people who had been laid off. Management labeled them as "disgruntled employees." To get the score higher on the SOE, management threw out all comments from the Security & Marketing Divisions.

You must understand, those were THE people who had absolutely NO FEAR of losing their jobs so they were free to tell it like it was. Some of those people had been with the TLC since start-up and knew everything. FYI - Reagan Greer and Gary Grief were the top folks during this time frame.

I could go on but I think you get the point about how the TLC handles surveys, audits, investigations, studies. (Here's a story that appeared in the Houston Chronicle last year regarding how true findings are not always reported, click here.)

Just so that you know, Representative Kino Flores commented about the TLC's "studies/audits" during a hearing at the capitol last year. He asked them why they bothered to spend the money on audits and surveys since the results were always changed/altered - the reports don't necessarily reflect the truth. We all laughed over that one (it was the way he said it) - of course, the TLC staff didn't think it was very funny. Rep Flores was right though. What is the point of having surveys and audits done when no action is taken to correct areas of concern?

This brings me to the purpose of Part 2 of my 4 part series of editorials.
Last November 2005, the University of Texas was hired to conduct another employee survey (SOE). Employees completed their surveys online between December 5 - 23, 2005.

UT spent January compiling the data and submitted a DRAFT report in February.

In March 2006, UT submitted their "final report" to the Texas Lottery and it was presented to the commissioners during the March 29th commission meeting.

The "reported" results were that the scores this year were better than last years scores and they had a greater response than last year. Diane Morris told the Commissioners that the lower scores were in the area of fair pay, internal communications, holographic, team effectiveness and supervisor effectiveness.

Now if you read the "draft" report I'm posting and covering today, you'll read on the 1st page that the scores were "generally good, a drop in scores was reported in almost all constructs when compared to previous survey results." A link to the report comes later ... Hang on everybody - you've gotta read my story before you get to read the report! :))

Anyway, going through the process ... The next logical step - for the TLC - is to address those areas of concern so next years report will be even better and for most companies, a real objective would be to make sincere changes for improvement.

So TLC management instructed a few divisions to form committees/workgroups (Information Resources SOE Group [IR], Executive SOE Sub-Group & Enforcement SOE Committee) to study, analyze and make recommendations to management on how to best correct the low scoring area's in the troubled areas/divisions. A very logical plan of action.

The deadline for completion was the end of May and two of the three reports were completed in a timely manner. The two committees gave their DRAFT reports directly to executive staff - Sadberry & Grief.

The only report still NOT completed is the IR Committee Report. Why is that?

Let's Elaborate A Little Bit About the IR Committee Report
The IR Committee decided to gather more information from employees before making their recommendations. This is NOT unusual for the committee's to do. So, the committee sent out another survey to IR employees "only" in late April or early May 2006.

After the committee gathered all the input from their own survey, the IR Committee made and agreed on, their recommendations. They've concluded their work but the Final Report is still not complete.

The TLC is calling the IR Committee report a "DRAFT." Why this report is considered a DRAFT is a million dollar question. How can actual employee comments (examples shown below) and committee suggestions be considered a "DRAFT?" They've finished their work.

OK - I'll tell you WHY. It's because management has not approved the recommendations or even agreed to implement the suggestions made by the committee. Personally, I think someone is trying to figure out how to get rid of or delete the comments actually submitted by the employees in this new survey. Also management probably doesn't want to take the committee's recommendations.

I do have conflicting stories on exactly where this report is and its status. It's either with Mike Fernandez, Gary Grief, Sadberry or all three. I honestly don't know.

So that you know, the Information Resource (IR) department answers to the Administration Director who is Mike Fernandez. This is where Shelton Charles worked - the Fired Ex-Employee who is currently suing the TLC.

What did the IR survey ask?
The survey answers were limited to agree, disagree, strongly agree, strongly disagree, no opinion etc. But employees could comment. Questions or statement included in the IR survey were:
1) We have an opportunity to participate in the goal setting process.
2) Supervisors know whether an individual's career goals are compatible with organizational growth.
3) People who challenge the status quo are valued.
4) Favoritism (special treatment) is not an issue in raises or promotions.
5) We use feedback from those we serve to improve our performance.
6) We work well with our governing bodies (the legislature, the board, etc).
7) The work atmosphere encourages open and honest communication.
8) Decision making and control are given to employees doing the actual work.
9) We feel a sense of pride when we tell people that we work for this organization.
10) Within my workplace, there is a feeling of community.
11) An effort is made to get the opinions of people throughout the organization.
12) There is basic trust among employees and supervisors.
13) When possible, alternative work schedules (flex time, compressed work weeks, job sharing telecommuting) are offered to employees.

Then employees were allowed to submit additional comments.

So what did the employees say in this report?
Here's just a few examples of what employees actually said in this survey ...

Disagree. I don't understand the question. Is this the agency's goals, Information Resources goals or the employee's goals? I don't think we are allowed the opportunity to participate in the agency's or Information Resources goals. My goal is to move up the career ladder in order to make more money to support my family. This means training opportunities are high goal on my list but our training opportunities are limited and confined to our current job duties and responsibilities.

Strongly disagree. Goals are dictated and even demanded, 99% of the time attempts to negotiate or recommend goals falls on deaf ears. Goal Setting is not even in the hands of the IR department but being micro managed by the Division Director….

Strongly disagree. Management feels that they are the only ones capable of making decisions and setting goals. Worse yet, they rarely even ask for input from those outside their own tight little circle.

Strongly disagree. They don't even know an employees background, education level, experience, etc. Supervisors/Managers should take the time to at least know each employees background, education level, experience, career goals, training goals, etc. We are just a name to them.

Disagree. No suggestion. I don't think that Joe and Joan have taken the time to review the background, education level, experience, and job expectations for each of their employees. I don't think they have any interest in their employees. I do know that in my case they know very little about my background, my education level, my job experience, etc.

Disagree. Our managers are too lazy to even figure out an individual's goal, much less the organizational goals.

Strongly disagree. I matters not whether IR management knows or even cares about an individuals career goals, the IR department is not being controlled by IR management but being micro managed by the Division Director and he doesn't care…

Disagree. Supervisors may know an individual's career goal, but still may not be able to get the training approved. The training required for an individual's career growth is very important. Especially if the training is relevant to a changing technological environment or evolving platform. What justification is needed for a Supervisor to get these employees requests approved? As long as the training expands the employee's knowledge for the future, cost should not be such an issue. An individual's expansion of knowledge always benefits the organization. Managers should reduce the amount of Contract labor cost, especially where there are permanent Lottery Staff already employed to perform the same job functions. Eliminating the redundancy of contract labor is more important and cost effective. Perhaps those jobs requiring Contract labor should be investigated to find out why they are needed. In the instances where contract labor position overlaps with a State position, perhaps the employee holding the State's position should be replaced or eliminated

Disagree. They don't care whether or not they are compatible. Those that aren't happy with career development here are just encouraged to fins another job.

Agree. Yes, I believe this to be true, but the results of this survey will tell us if this is just an exercise to accommodate a management objective or if management is sincere about making positive changes.

Disagree. People who challenge the status quo are labeled as disgruntled employees. Once this happens, it's only a matter of time before the Right To Work option is used to get rid of the "disgruntled" employee/trouble maker. Who says management is always right, why can't they compromise.

They get fired.

Strongly disagree. They are labeled or fired if they disagree.

Disagree. They are usually reprimanded.· Disagree. I get the impression that they either get fired or management makes it impossible for them to continue working for the Lottery.

Disagree. Employees shouldn't be black balled or fired.

Strongly disagree. You've got to be kidding me, this question is a joke. The IR department is being micro managed by the Division Director. You dare not stand your ground on any issue that is contrary to him even if your position is in the best interest of the department or agency. That even includes matters of questionable ethical nature, you simply do not cross that line. Failure to follow this unwritten rule WILL result in dire consequences. People are told to "shut up" and those that don't, will get fired, demoted, get poor performance ratings, etc. It is like working for the Nazis, you dare not say anything contrary to the party platform. The bottom line…you WILL conform. The people in IR know this (including IR managers and supervisors, and even they are afraid) and I would guess that most everyone has refused to respond to this survey. After all, what is the point, the only reason for this survey is to find a band-aid to boost the numbers for this department. The same tactic was applied to the proposed adjusted work hours, nobody was asked what they would like, but dictated what their option was. No sincere interest was taken to work with the people like a true "team" mindset. It should go without saying but I'll say it anyway.

Agree. As long as it does not compromise or offend management.

Strongly disagree. The only people happy with the current state of affairs are I.T. management and all those who benefit from their favoritisms (see below). Anybody who questions their hiring and promoting practices get fired. Anybody who questions management direction gets ignored and put on their secret "watch list".

Strongly Disagree. There are people here in Information Resources that have been passed up for raises or promotions, because management felt it was the way to go for the good of the division or the agency or because they came from the TWC or because of a so called "Reclassification process". This practice is not fair to the loyal employees who have put in the time and the effort to receive a substantial pay raise or promotion. On the other side of the coin why are we paying contractors to do the jobs of low performing or non-performing employees. We have several people who are sitting idle while contractors are doing the jobs they are supposed to be doing. I understand when we don't have enough FTE's in our division to complete a project and we have to bring in some contractors in to help for conversions and startups, but why can't we promote people into these positions from within once the conversion is complete instead of retaining the contractors to do the jobs for people who just can't seem to step up to the plate. Not trying to come across as callus, but we need to provide training to these individuals, then if they still can't perform, it's time to make a decision. Some people are given the red carpet treatment while others are given the door when mistakes are made. Please be consistent when disciplining personnel. We should keep a log for this.

Disagree. Certain employees get special treatment. Suggestion - Not sure management can do anything, they are the one's doing it.

Disagree. It's clear that there are certain employees get special treatment. Some refuse to get training but still have a job, some employees with less education and experience are classified higher, current employees are bypassed for promotions when positions are opened. New employees are hired, then our current employees train them or they are sent to training

Strongly disagree. Favoritism is rampant around here and is the number 1 problem. Everybody knows that. The only people who pretend that favoritism doesn't exist are those very same people who benefit from it. If you socialize with management or came from TWC then you get preferential treatment, regardless of job performance. I've also noticed that people who were hired by the current management get treated with a lot more respect. Almost all employees that were already here when they arrived have either been fired or are treated like the leftover crap from previous managements.

Strongly disagree. As a department, only when the feedback directly reflects poorly on the Division Director is action taken, otherwise if feedback is provided that is neutral to the Division Director image or goals, it for the most part is outright ignored (until a real problem is manifested). Despite efforts by IR management, the controlling hand of the Division Director dictates action taken on feedback and that can be summarized as "reactive" and not "proactive". He will wait until there is a problem rather than take the position of problem prevention. Bottom line…

Disagree. Management disregards what they don't want to hear. Suggestion: Give us the opportunity to evaluate supervisor's job performance.

Strongly disagree. It is known throughout the IR department that IR staff have been told specifically to lie or withhold information to the legislature, auditors, executive management and Lottery Commissioners on issue that would potentially tarnish the image of the Division Director. Honestly, integrity, ethical and moral principles are only followed when it is convenient. Bottom line…

Disagree. Because of everything in the paper, I don't like to tell people where I work.

Strongly disagree. I don't tell people unless they ask. There is very little pride when the lottery keeps making the press because of the questionable ethical practices going on here. The fact that we make the press is not the problem the REAL problem is the CANCER that is allowed to continue to grow through individuals like the Administration Division Director. It is because of actions like his and others like him that cause the lottery the problems it has resulting in the issues then making the papers!

Strongly disagree. I don't even tell people I work here anymore. I just say I work for the state.

Strongly disagree. Atmosphere consists of distrust, competing interests and confusion.

Strongly disagree. 99% of the communication is a monolog not a dialog. The All staff Agency, Division, & Department meetings are all one sided communication.· Agree. Through the SOE and surveys such as this one. If problems are dealt with, it is good, otherwise a waste of time.

Disagree. Okay. This survey counts towards some effort to get others' opinions. But I doubt much consideration will be given to it.

If we (employee) screws up, we are likely to get fired. Why is it that Mike Jones always screws up and he still has a job? Others in our group have been fired. He can't do anything, yet he always gets the credit. Favoritism or what? He should have been fired a long time ago cause of all his errors.

Disagree. This has been caused by the constant hiring of ex TWC staff and placing them in management or high level positions when we have staff already here that have put in the time and effort to earn such a position. Employees do not trust supervisors who hire people from the outside and are then asked to train them on how to do the job when the employee was fully qualified to be promoted into that position. Supervisors need to trust their current employees enough to give them a chance before hiring someone from the outside.

Strongly disagree. I don't trust anybody. Even the one person I used to trust has grown too close to management. So I no longer trust that person either. I.R. management has a very poor reputation for their trustworthiness because many people question their legitimacy. It's widely recognized throughout the entire agency that I.R. management is just here riding the coat tails of Mike Fernandez. Suggestion: Management needs to diversify and open up their tight little circle to Lottery personnel.

· Strongly disagree. Again the Division Director dictated what he wanted rather than find out what the staff wanted. It is a micro-management mentality that everyone in the department has figured out. Rather than truly fixing the problem. A band-aid approach is taken.

To read the report in its entirety just click here (pdf). This report really makes for an interesting read to say the least. As you read the report, you can feel and sense the employees disgust and you can see the how very candid the employees are in their responses. They are begging to be heard by executive management but they have little faith that changes will occur.

Here it is one year AFTER employee dissatisfaction was exposed and the SAME problems still exists in the IR department.

HINT - Be sure and notice - on the 1st page - it says that, "the final document will have new recommendations and some of the existing recommendations may be removed."

Hey, management - why bother to ask a committee to make recommendations if you may DELETE or EDIT them? Why ask employee opinions if you plan to ignore them?

FYI - I'm posting this report because I do NOT want management to cover up, delete or edit the real findings. The report shows the employees actual comments and the Committee's recommendations/solutions. Now it's PAST time for Director Sadberry to respond and/or take action.

Committee Members (The ones who spearheaded the IR survey and completed a survey too)
Barry Fealy, Cylinda Dominguez
, David Ramirez, Greg Martinez, Joe Pulido, Lillian Minnard & Mike Jones.

Summary of Part 2 of a 4 Part Series
The question for today was - Are TLC employees happy now? Do they work in a friendly enviornment? Do they feel like they are valued? Appreciated? From reading their comments, what do you think? Employee problems have been in existance since Linda Cloud resigned. They did NOT exist under her reign. And the folks that appear to be causing these problems still work at the TLC. It's time for changes.

Coming - Part 3 of a 4 Part Series - The State Auditors audits, about the fired employees, the recent changes to Lotto Texas, plus several other interesting tidbits that I have on my list. here to read more

A Special Message To All
TLC Employees - Past & Present

Click here.

- Don't Be Misled - A Legend Has NOT Returned -
Read all about the new Lotto Texas game that we will be playing
effective 4/23/06. Lower prizes, less money in the prize pool and
there's no guarantee that we'll receive our share of sales. Click here.

Whistleblower Lawsuit Filed by
Former TLC Employee - Shelton Charles
Feb 2, 2006 -
Press Release - This is the 2nd lawsuit filed!
Feb 3, 2006 - Added Houston Chronicle Story
Revised: Feb 8, 2006 - Added Austin American Statesman Story
Read Newspaper Stories, Click here
Read The Petition That Was Filed With the Court, Click here (pdf)

Ex-Employee Sues TLC - Jan 31, 2006
They are calling for trial by jury ... this will be interesting.
One has to wonder, are more lawsuits in the works? Click here.

Told Ya So
About me, Judicial Watch & the cheated winners
Dallas Observer, posted 8/11/05 - Click here

A Dallas Observer Feature Story
My hats off to the Dallas Observer and reporter, Rick Kennedy,
for a fantastic feature story about my life since I decided to keep an eye
on the Texas Lottery. I finally posted his story, added links and comments.
Click here
to read. (June 11, 2005)

Texas Lottery Denies Cheating Lotto Texas Winners
But excerpts from Commission Meetings refutes the TLC claims
of innocence. The complete story including a winners complaint letter
to the DA, excerpts and a spreadsheet showing the wins. Click here.


Just point and click

The Lotto Report
Dawn Nettles
P. O. Box 495033
Garland, Texas 75049-5033
(972) 686-0660
(972) 681-1048 Fax