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Employee must repay lottery

The state comptroller demanded Thursday that a lottery official pay $1,015 in compensation for trips to his Tampa home and issued a report criticizing lack of supervision at the agency.

James W. Spencer, who already has been demoted by Lottery Secretary Marcia Mann, took 24 trips to Tampa at state expense during an 18-month period, the report found. His wife and children live in Tampa.

Comptroller Gerald Lewis said Spencer, who is based in Tallahassee, must repay the state for excessive mileage claims, airline tickets purchased over state contract rates and excessive claims for meals.

"We are going to seek that money from him," said Terence McElroy, spokesman for Lewis.

Overall, Spencer was reimbursed $14,000 for travel since he was hired in March 1991. His main duty was closing out corporate sales, and he also occasionally visited retail lottery vendors.

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R. Dudley, an investigator in Lewis' office, wrote in a memo that Spencer appeared to use the trips to arrange weekend stays with his family while working out of the Tampa lottery office on a Monday or Friday or both. Sometimes, however, there was no record that Spencer went to the Tampa office.

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