ROSEVILLE, MN (KSNT) – Just days ago, a long-time former executive director of the Kansas State Lottery resigned his position as the executive director of the Minnesota State Lottery; a position he’s held since 2012. Edwin Van Petten’s resignation came in response to a report by the Star Tribune that he had received more than $7,000 in “questionable” reimbursements for his personal timeshares during stays at Las Vegas conferences.Van Petten served as the Kansas Lottery’s executive director for 11 years, starting the position in October of 2000. After leaving the Kansas position, he was up to lead Arkansas’ newly-formed lottery before being appointed by Minnesota’s governor. At that time, Governor Mark Dayton issued an appointment, writing:“Because of the special trust and confidence I have in your integrity, judgement, and ability, I have appointed and commissioned you to have and to hold the office of Executive Director of the Minnesota State Lottery.” -signed by Governor Mark Dayton
Van Petten resigned from his position Friday. He’s a K-State grad with his juris doctorate from Washburn University. He previously lived in Lawrence while serving as the executive director of the Kansas Lottery. According to an old news release from the Minnesota governor’s office, Van Petten has also worked as the Deputy Disciplinary Administrator for the Kansas Supreme Court, Chief of the Criminal Divison as Deputy Attorney General of the state of Kansas, and as Assistant Attorney General for the Kansas Bureau of Investigation.
The Kansas Lottery is no stranger to controversy. In 2000, the then executive director, Greg Ziemak resigned to take a similar position in his home-state of Connecticut after a Kansas lottery employee was charged with altering tickets to claim $63,000. According to an Associated Press report from that time, Ziemak left amid the scandal although he was not a target of the investigation. News of it, however, put his new job in jeopardy as the Connecticut Lottery Board’s vowed an investigation into their new hire’s management style. Ziemak told AP at the time that he welcomed the investigation as he had nothing to hide. The Lawrence Journal World later reported that Ziemak chose to give up the job.