Treasurer and Receiver General Joseph D. Malone of Massachusetts yesterday named his deputy Eric M. Turner to become the next executive director of the state's lottery system.
Municipal bond professionals were left to wonder who would fill Mr. Turner's shoes as debt management chief at the treasury, where the former Drexel Burnham Lambert Inc. banker served as a vital link between public and private sectors.
"It's a great personal opportunity for Eric at the lottery," said one municipal bond underwriter. "We wish him well." But he quickly added," "It's going to be a blow, unless they get someone of Eric's stature to take over on the debt management side."
It was expected that Thomas H. Trimarco, first deputy treasurer, would take over Mr. Turner's duties on an interim basis, and no decision had yet been made on a permanent replacement.
"They're most definitely going to fill that position," said Liz Kloak, a spokeswoman for Mr. Malone. "There's a search under way."
Peter Mazareas, assistant treasurer for lottery operations and a former state college official, was named Deputy Treasurer for cash management to take over that part of Mr. Turner's responsibilities. Mr. Mazareas will report to Mr. Trimarco.
One source said Mr. Turner's move to the lottery heralds a major shake-up at the office of the treasurer, with one possible outcome being to replacement for Mr. Turner.
But Ms. Kloak, the spokeswoman for Mr. Malone, discounted such speculation.
"This is a deputy that has been chosen to fill a position and now we're going to fill his position. I wouldn't call this a major shake-up," Ms. Kloak said. "It was all triggered by the resignation of Tom O'Heir," she added, referring to the the lottery director Mr. Turner will replace.
Mr. Turner began working under Mr. Malone in January, when he took his post as the deputy treasurer for debt management. He also shouldered responsibilities for the commonwealth's cash management.
Mr. Turner is expected to assume the helm at the Massachusetts State Lottery Commission Dec. 1, according to David Ellis, spokesman for the lottery. The current director, Mr. O'Heir, is leaving the position on that date to work for General Instrument Inc., a Maryland-based company that manufactures computer systems for lotteries. Mr. O'Heir's resignation ends a 20-year stint at the lottery, stretching back to 1971, lottery's first year.
For Mr. Turner, the new posting at the lottery will bring increases in salary and responsibility.
As deputy treasurer, Mr. Turner has about 100 employees who report to him. As lottery director, he will oversee a staff of 420 and receive annual compensation of $90,000, compared with his current salary of $80,000.
The state lottery had gross sales of $1.6 billion last year, making it the fifth largest lottery in the country, and by far the largest in terms of per capita sales, according to Mr. Ellis.