Hoosier Lottery leaders on Wednesday admitted to errors in judgment regarding some pricey purchases brought to light by a 6News investigation.
In a hastily called news conference, Hoosier Lottery Chairman William Zielke admitted the organization wasn't thinking like a government agency when leaders approved some extravagant amenities at the Hoosier Lottery's new building near 13th and Meridian streets.
The new office's exercise room, featuring more than $24,000 in workout equipment, and eight break room chairs costing $800 apiece, were at the center of outrage following an investigation by 6News' Rafael Sanchez
After reevaluating the purchases, Zielke said the exercise equipment will be sold and the space will be utilized in another way.
"If there was an error here it was in the desire to make this a great place to work, and perhaps in the enthusiasm for that, we lost track a little bit of the foot that we also have in government," he said. "We operate in a little bit different environment here, but that environment is not so far removed from the government that we shouldn't keep an eye on their standards."
At the Hoosier Lottery's previous offices at Pan Am Plaza, employees shared a workout facility with other tenants of the building.
Lottery Executive Director Kathyrn Densborn, who initially defended the workout facility as a way to attract and keep motivated employees, seemed hesitant to classify the purchases as an error in judgment at Wednesday's news conference.
"We're going to get it fixed," she said.
Zielke defended the agency's overall decision to move to a new building, saying the previous offices were cramped, forcing some people to work in hallways, and could not accommodate the lottery's growth.
After subleasing some of the extra space in the new office, lottery officials said the agency will save more than $600,000 over the 10 years of the lease.
"I think it has been a good move for both the lottery and the state of Indiana," Zielke said.
Last year, the lottery generated $740 million in sales. So far in 2011, the lottery has sent the state $188 million.
Hoosier Lottery Statement Of Net Assets
Hoosier Lottery New Headquarters Lease
Hoosier Lottery 2010 Operating Expenses
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