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This page is where I share some of my emails with you.
Subject matters vary. New messages are posted on top
and I try to update this page periodically. Opinions expressed
may not necessarily be the opinions of the lottoreport.com.
Messages may have been edited by lottoreport.com

Revised: Nov 30, 2005 - 1 Comment Added

Note: The dates shown on the messages are the dates I'm posting
them - they do NOT reflect the date I received them.

From Dawn Nettles - LottoReport.com:
I asked ya'll to watch the Licensing and Administration hearing that was held at the Capitol on Monday, Nov 14, 2005 then write and tell me what you think. I want you be the jury.

The purpose of this hearing was to air a current employee's (now an ex-employee) allegations that the Texas Lottery's Disaster Recovery site was NOT operational - but - the TLC claims it IS operational. I personally believe the TLC is covering up as I've had too many reports over the last 3 years from qualified folks stating that it was NOT operational and I feel the testimony at this hearing proves it's not operational. But I want to know how you feel and think.

So I will be posting your comments - I'd really prefer that you send me an email - please don't call me with your comments because I don't want to have to write what ya'll are saying - that's a huge responsibility for me. But please, use "professional" language - OK? I know I'm upset after what I saw and it appears ya'll are too, but let's keep the "4 letter words" out of our postings. Now, read on ...

Nov 30, 2005
During the hearing, Grief stated that Gtech had triple backup. Gtech appears to still have a need in that area. Has Gtech been certified or tested?

DIR sat on their hands during the hearing yet DIR had overall authority over policies and procedures and requirements while TLC was doing both the Recovery Site buildout and the Y2K project.

As oversight, DIR required regular status reports on both projects.

But DIR has no idea when these projects were completed?

Read Job Opening at G-Tech (below) ... (Signed - A Friend)

To obtain more information or apply for this position, please follow the link below.

Job Title: Disaster Recovery Planner, Sr
City: Austin
State: TX
Job Description:


This position is responsible for making reliable tactical decisions with minimal intervention from more senior management. Makes recommendations on strategic issues. Generally focused on either one or more projects and supporting multiple customers during a given time period. Responsible for the design, implementation, and management of a formal Data Center Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity process.


Manages the disaster recovery/business continuity process to ensure the Data Center of the Americas (DCA) can respond to business interruptions and resumption of critical functions (applications, servers, and networks).

Collaborate with Corporate Representatives to ensure DCA’s full and continuing contribution to the overall Business Continuity Plan.

Work with DCA technical resources to develop test scenarios

Coordinates regular disaster recovery/business continuity testing as specified in contract requirements and/or GTECH defined best practice.

Work with business units to review business impacts and identify associated risk.

Responsible for tracking risks and ensure identified solutions are followed up by Problem Management.

Write, update, and maintain a DCA Business Continuity Plan and each Jurisdictional Disaster Recovery Plan.

Ensure all DCA staff is appropriately trained.

During an actual crisis situation, assists DCA Senior Management with the coordination of status / incident reporting, company communications and representation during company status meetings.

Document and report on process owners compliance with critical contingency solutions (backups, images, documents / procedures)

Produces regular and accurate management reports based on defined key performance indicators.


Complexity: Functions Responsible for or Influenced High ­ influence on business continuity/disaster recovery efforts across the DCA organization

Diversity: Locations Responsible for or Influenced. High - Responsible for multiple jurisdictions

Typical Job Problems and Difficulties. Influences management in making decisions regarding business continuity/disaster recovery for multiple sites, platforms and customers.

Financial Accountability. Organizes, anticipates and monitors budgetary needs for the department. Works within the available annual budget for maintenance, general procurement for DCA operations.


Job Reports to (direct). Senior Manager, Business Operations

Job Reports to (indirect). Corporate Business Continuity

Direct Reports to Job. None at this time

Authority for Staff Managed. First level sign off authority for hiring, counseling, performance management and salary decisions- but final authority will rest with director

Indirect Reports (influenced). Influence Service Delivery and Support Managers throughout DCA organization

Level of Complexity for managing/organizing staff Multiple projects and/or geographic locations create a higher level of complexity for managing staff


Extent decisions governed by procedures or referred up Most major decisions are consistent with corporate and departmental standards, policies and procedures but some latitude is given to troubleshoot daily issues within these standards.

Standard requirements for research and analysis. Maintains contact with outside contingency planning professional organizations and local/regional response groups

Opportunity and consequence of typical errors (supervision). Frequent with high impact ­ systems are used globally

Frequency and complexity of internal business contacts. Frequent with high complexity ­ deal with client issues on a daily basis

Frequency and complexity of external business contacts Works with external business continuity vendors and external customers

Physical (% time: travel, operating machinery, environmental etc.)

Must be able to be on call 24X7

GTECH is a leading gaming technology and services company. With more than $1.25 billion in annual revenues and 5,300 people in over 50 countries, GTECH provides integrated technology, creative content, and business services to effectively manage and grow today’s evolving gaming markets. In targeted emerging economies, GTECH also leverages its operational presence and infrastructure to supply commercial transaction processing services. For more information about the Company, please visit GTECH’s website.

Nov 21, 2005
Dawn, A belated thank you for creating this website and keeping everyone up to date.

I also was terminated at-will by the Texas Lottery Commission and witnessed first hand the abuse of managerial power at this agency.

It was interesting to watch the latest hearing and listen to Shelton Charles explain why the disaster recovery site was inadequate--and then get terminated. His professionalism and knowledge was very apparent. However, I can't say the same for Mr. Grief nor Mr. Fernandez.

Honestly, I do not know what it is going to take to have other lawmakers take notice and do something about this agency. Representatives Flores and Van Arsdale need more support. I hope after viewing this hearing, there are others listening and taking notice. I also appreciate the media keeping up with the latest news at the Lottery. PLEASE CONTINUE YOUR WORK.

So far the news concerning former State Rep. Talmadge Heflin doesn't sound promising. Why are we surprised? By the way, whatever happened to the audit that the State Auditors were going to conduct on at-will terminations at the Lottery? They were suppose to conduct this audit in September.

Keep up the good work, you have plenty of supporters. (I've deleted the name)

Nov 21, 2005
I have not listened to the hearing yet but I have seen the articles. I noticed that Gary Grief stated that "it could be operational very quickly." Doesn't that contridict the Lotterys report that the site didn't have to be tested because it was "hot."

They moved the backup tape system that was installed from the bunker back to the headquarters. If 6th street was blown away while the tape backup was there, there would be no way for them to become operational at the buncker in any sort of decent time.

I hear they moved the tape backup back to the bunker when all of this started with Shelton. What a bunch of @#$%^&* again!!!

Anyway - I hope you are well. Have a great holiday! (I've deleted the name - an ex-employee)

Nov 18, 2005
The lotto problems all seem to be much the same as Enron, Tyco, MCI, and those other companies whose leaders claim to know nothing about the scams.

The best way to clean up the lotto would be to fire all the Lottery Commissioners and replace them with people who actually have played the lotto games. H.Wootan

Nov 17, 2005
Dear Ms. Nettles,
I would first like to compliment you on your efforts to clean up the Texas State Lottery. It is my opinion that without some sort of watchdog agency all Lotteries will soon be enveloped by scandals. I am from Indiana. I can tell you that we have significant problems here with our Lottery. I only hope that our efforts to clean up the Indiana Lottery will be as successful as yours.

I watched the meeting yesterday and I was impressed with Mr. Charles knowledge of the Lottery. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out who is lying. The lack of knowledge on behalf of the Lottery Director doesn't surprise me at all. When a lottery director can't tell you how many lawyers he has then something is wrong. I am constantly amazed to see people in leadership positions that can't tell you the first thing about what their responsibilities are; needless to say, they get these jobs somehow---"maybe it helps to know someone politically"?

In today's society leadership means nothing; it's who you know. Unfortunately, the days of Sergeant John M. Stryker and Teddy Roosevelt are gone. Leadership no longer exists! Our society is now geared around who you know and how many tea parties you can impress people with. Leadership today is measured by how many people you can fire, even though the individual you fire is honest and full of integrity. You see, today's leaders try and weed out these employees who maintain high integrity in order to eliminate the threat they pose to the bureaucracy. Having been on this earth since the 50's, and living in the Corps for some 22 plus years, I am appalled by this "who you know" philosophy.

No leader in their right mind would fire an employee who makes suggestions to improve operational performance! The lottery director needs to start listening to the people who know what the hell they are talking about. The Lottery Director position should be an elected position in order to prevent a political friend from getting you that job.

I believe yesterday was the first time I have ever seen anyone commit perjury in a committee meeting. I was flabbergasted by this. People will go to ridiculous extremes to cover their hiney won't they. It was funny to watch the computer analysts beat around the bush when asked about the connectivity with the Bunker. Specifically, what good is the bunker if you cant communicate from there?(i.e. GTECH) My concern equals that of Mr Charles, "where is the money to fix the problem."

My opinion is that the committee believes Mr Charles 100 percent; he has the answers with nothing to hide, unlike the others who were questioned. I would also like to state that the Committee Chairman was very thorough in his questioning. It was apparent to me that the Committee Chairman sees the writing on the wall---My hat goes off to him---KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK. We need him here in Indiana!

Finally, I would like to once again say "JOB WELL DONE" Ms Nettles. I know what you are going through. Myself and one of my constituents are experiencing the same struggles and obstacles here in Indiana; something that you are all too familiar with. You have our undaunted support! I will close this with a term I learned many years ago in the Marine Corps. People who are in Leadership positions should "LEAD, FOLLOW, OR GET THE HELL OUT OF THE WAY!" God Bless America! Semper Fi! Jeff

Nov 17, 2005
Watching that hearing made me sick. To know this man was fired by these people proves that there is no justice in today's society. What will it take to get rid of the people who currently run our lottery? Can it be done? Is it even possible to have honesty in state run gambling? Please reply and thank you for giving us the opportunity to see our leaders at work and the creeps that run our lottery. Sam J. Texarkana

Nov 16, 2005
Dawn and Lottoreport Readers:
I work for a mid-cap Oil and Gas firm in Houston, in the IS department. We have a disaster recovery system in place such that if our financial system was ever to go offline for any reason, we could switch to the disaster recovery system in a minimal amount of time. We perform periodic tests wherein we simulate a disaster and switch over to the recovery system for a 24 hour period. In doing this, we can assure our users that should a disaster occur, the system would still work.

From what Mr. Charles described, and Mr. Grief all but validated, the systems at the disaster recovery site for the Texas Lottery have never even been put to this test, so I find it hard swallow Mr. Grief's assurance that the lottery's business could continue to run in the case of a disaster to their production systems.

From where I am sitting and with the knowledge I have of 'true' disaster recovery for computer systems, it is clear that Mr. Charles is telling the truth. I wish him much success in his future endeavors. VB

Nov 16, 2005
I am very disapppointed in the hearing that was conducted. Our legislators were not really aware of what the real issue is and that is that the Lottery Administrators can do whatever and whenever they want and they do not have to answer to anyone. Where is the money that was appropriated to finish the project?

S. Charles stated that on numerous occasions when he asked to purchase the equipment he was told there were no funds, and yet we were told that everything was continually being updated. If they wait a week for Charles' list, I am sure that will give them enough time to get everything in there they need. Charles suggested a 3rd party inspector to take on the tour (since our legislators seem totally computer illiterate), and they decided to wait for his list so they could check things off.

Big Mistake.

They will never know what works and what doesn't. They will just know it is in the building. They also need to address "at Will Firings". This is a state agency and they should be held to the same due process principles as other state agencies. (Also applies to the racial discrimination issue).

An outside authority also needs to look at budget and expenditures since we really can't trust anything the administrators of the lottery have told us up-to -date. There is no control over the lottery. If there were, they would not be able to charge inflated rates for public access of information or withhold information to journalists they don't like.

Where is the balance of power?

The commitee has only scratched the surface, but will it know how to dig deeper? K. Holloway

Nov 16, 2005
I listened to the gentleman challenging the viability of the secondary site. He had some good comments and the failure of the questioners to know about the subject matter proves to me the inadeqauacy of the committee to want to do anything. If you know a subject is going to come up, they should have readied the correct questions.

The indiviudal who was fired bothers me a little in that he refers to no notes as to the exact date he contracted, the exact state of the bunker, what he was supposed to do. He also professed to ask for demands in writing which no one in any industry will do. He should have done what they asked and then documented who told him to do what and what specifically was not done.

On the other side, you should have solid enough management to say it is running or not. I would say to the lottery, since we have a big drawing right now, lets shut down the lottery tonight for 2 days. The back up will work right? To me, as a layman, I am completely convinced the back-up system will NOT work after listening.

You want validity-shut it down right now! Let's see who is right! D Grassi

Nov 16, 2005
If anyone wants to know if the recovery site is operational, just unplug it from the 6th Street site. Then they can sit down and see what can and can't be done.

I'd put my money on Mr. Charles. He's telling the truth. He could answer the questions and his answers were consistent and precise. They fired a good employee in my opinion.

I wondered why they didn't call Mr. Charles' immediate supervisor to testify too. Mr. Grief said he was there and would be coming forward but it never happened. Seems like he would have been the first one they would have asked if the site was operational. He's the logical person that should know. Makes me wonder if they want to know the truth.

As for Mr. Fernandez and the allegations of him saying "he'd fired all you SOB's," I saw a bad attitude and arrogance in him. Judging from his demeanor, he probably made the SOB statement. I was glad to see the chairman tell him to take a seat and quit being defiant. I hope they find out who perjured themself. My bet is that it is Mr. Fernandez.

The employees fear was evident too. I felt sorry for the girl who testified that the tape back-up was smaller at the recovery site than at headquarters. Based on her statements, I think it is evident the recovery site is incomplete and not functional.

Thank you for giving us the opportunity to see this hearing. I agree with you, everyone should watch it. I have no doubt now that they need to get rid of the executives in charge. B Cunningham

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