Pat McDonald, the director of Ohio Lottery, resigned on Wednesday, citing undisclosed medical reasons for his retirement. Governor Mike DeWine's spokesperson, Dan Tierney, confirmed that McDonald's resignation was effective immediately. Michelle Gillcrist, McDonald's aerospace and defense liaison and northeast Ohio regional liaison, has been appointed as the interim director.
McDonald has been a prominent figure in the Ohio Lottery for 16 years, initially serving as a member and long-time chair of the Ohio Lottery Commission before being appointed as director by DeWine in 2019.
In a brief email to DeWine's chief of staff, Stephanie McCloud, McDonald announced his retirement. "This is to notify you that I am retiring from my position of Director of the State of Ohio Lottery Commission effective today, April 12, 2023, due to medical reasons. It has been a pleasure to serve the people of Ohio," the email read as reported by the Associated Press.
Ohio Governor Mike DeWine
The sudden resignation comes during a crucial period for the Ohio Lottery. The organization is preparing to rebid its central gaming system contract, valued at over $90 million every two years. It is working to resolve a long-standing impasse over the establishment of internet-based lottery gaming, or iLottery, in the state.
McDonald's previous roles include serving as elections director for Cuyahoga County, as well as holding positions with the Ohio secretary of state, Ohio treasurer, and as an assistant director of the Ohio Department of Commerce.