SPRINGFIELD — A Franklin Center investigation has discovered irregularities that marred the selection of the manager of the Illinois State Lottery.
Northstar Lottery Group won the 2010 contract to manage the Illinois State Lottery, a move that could enrich the firm by more than $300 million over five years.
GTECH, which owns 80 percent of Northstar, poured hundreds of thousands of dollars into a campaign fund that funneled $1.5 million to Gov. Pat Quinn’s 2010 campaign.
Just six weeks before Election Day 2010, Quinn announced Northstar would receive the lottery management contract based on the recommendations of his administration’s nine-member panel.
Illinois Auditor General Bill Holland last year issued a scathing report on the selection process. His audit found it would have been virtually impossible for Quinn’s panel to have thoroughly read, analyzed and scored thousands of pages of documents submitted by the applicants in the few days given them.
Pressed for time, some panelists did not document their evaluations in writing until after the Northstar announcement, the audit found.
In a separate review, The Franklin Center for Government & Public Integrity found that Northstar’s written proposal identified one of the governor’s panelists — Victor Golden — as its executive in charge of lottery sales.
Brady, Quinn’s GOP gubernatorial opponent in 2010, said he was perplexed by the decision to allow two rivals to submit a bid together. But a Northstar spokeswoman said state rules allow for such a joint proposal.