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California Lottery Chief to Step Down Amid Misconduct Allegations Against Employees

People wait in line outside of Bluebird Liquor in Hawthorne to buy Mega Millions lottery tickets in 2018. (Credit: Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)

People wait in line outside of Bluebird Liquor in Hawthorne to buy Mega Millions lottery tickets in 2018. (Credit: Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)

The head of the California Lottery is leaving his job.

The Sacramento Bee reports Hugo Lopez told employees Friday he was stepping down immediately. The move comes as the lottery is under investigation over alleged misconduct including employees misspending money and acting inappropriately during a sales conference.

A state Department of Justice investigation requested by former Gov. Jerry Brown is ongoing. An audit by the state controller’s office found lottery employees spent money improperly on travel and food.

Lopez began leading the department in 2015 and has held jobs at the Department of Motor Vehicles and the treasurer’s office. He’s previously said the department is being “proactive” and “transparent” with investigators.

Lopez says he’s proud of growing the department’s annual revenue to $7 billion.

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