Illinois' lottery superintendent is navigating his way through some bad press. Michael Jones, who returned to the top job after starting a consulting company, is in a spat with Northstar, the company that's managing the lottery. He’s accused of steering Northstar business to his old company, but says those stories are planted and trumped up.
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Testifying to the Legislative Audit Commission, Jones is trying to reconcile opposite sides. “One is a continuous, ongoing series of mediations and downward adjustment letters and all of that stuff,” which Jones says is brought on by Northstar, “and, on the other side, create a good, positive working relationship so that we can [put into] effect the business plan and also potentially maximize the revenue due.” A frustrated State Rep. Fred Crespo (D-Hoffman Estates), a member of the commission, said, “Let’s just blow up the whole thing, take no prisoners, and start from scratch.” Members of the audit commission suggested they have not heard the last from or about the lottery.