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Gov. Brown Fires Oregon Lottery Director Over Agency Management

Gov. Kate Brown on Tuesday removed Lottery Director Jack Roberts from his job in the wake of what appeared to be a messy dispute over the agency’s management.

Roberts defended his actions at the agency and said he refused the governor’s request to resign.

Brown’s spokeswoman, Kristen Grainger, refused to discuss the details of Roberts’ removal, saying it was a personnel matter.

However, Grainger did say, “Gov. Brown seeks new leadership for an agency that has some management problems as she continues to develop her cabinet of state agency directors.”

Roberts lost his job soon after he had placed his chief operating officer, Roland Iparraguirre, on paid administrative leave. Dispute over that action apparently led to the governor’s action Tuesday.

Brown appointed Barry Pack — who had long worked for her when she was a legislator and secretary of state — to serve as interim director of the lottery. Pack has most recently been chief administrative officer of the Department of Administrative Services.

Roberts took over the helm of the lottery in 2013 under the administration of Gov. John Kitzhaber. Roberts is a former state labor commissioner who unsuccessfully sought the Republican nomination for governor in 2002.

Oregon Lottery Director, Jack Roberts
Oregon Lottery /
Oregon Lottery Director, Jack Roberts

Copyright 2016 Oregon Public Broadcasting

Jeff Mapes is a senior political reporter at Oregon Public Broadcasting. Previously, Jeff covered state and national politics for The Oregonian for nearly 32 years. He has covered numerous presidential, congressional, gubernatorial and ballot measure campaigns, as well as many sessions of the Legislature, stretching back to 1985. Jeff graduated from San Jose State University with a B.A. in journalism.