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Fired NYS Lottery employee accused of attempted retaliation

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SARATOGA SPRINGS -- State officials on Tuesday said a Saratoga Springs man who was fired by the New York State Division of Lottery last year later tried to retaliate against his former bosses, and they have handed the information over to authorities for further investigation.

A report released by the New York State Inspector General's Office said John Charlson, 46, worked as the lottery's public information officer until Jan. 13, 2009, when he was fired for failing to get along with fellow employees.

After his dismissal, the report states, Charlson told Lottery Director Gordon Medenica "you're going to be sorry." He also eavesdropped on a confidential lottery conference call and lodged numerous "serious, yet baseless allegations against lottery officials in retaliation for his dismissal."

Charlson also "trespassed via computer" to get 16 lottery e-mails, which he forwarded to Racing and Wagering Board Chairman John Sabini, according to the report.

The information has been forwarded to the state Commission on Public Integrity and to the Saratoga County District Attorney's Office for further inquiry, according to the Inspector General's office.

Saratoga County District Attorney Jim Murphy said Tuesday afternoon that his office was still reviewing the case, though, and "whether or not his (Charlson's) actions were criminal in nature remains to be seen."

The report would also be shared with police to determine if any crimes had been committed, Murphy said.

Reached by phone, a man who identified himself as Charlson's brother - answering a number listed as belonging to Charlson - said he did not know how to contact his brother for further comment.

Charlson had worked with the lottery division for two years. He earned a salary of $148,128.


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