- Gaming Inspector General
- About the Office
- Statutory Authority
- Making a Report
- Contact Information
- Other Resources
Office of the Gaming Inspector General
As a part of the Upstate New York Gaming Economic Development Act of 2013, the Office of the Gaming Inspector General was created to promote transparency and accountability and to further the overall mission of the Gaming Commission which is to ensure that all lawful gaming and horse racing activity conducted in this State is of the highest integrity, credibility, and quality. The Gaming Inspector General serves at the will of, and reports directly to, the Governor.
The Office of the Gaming Inspector General is tasked with investigating allegations of corruption, fraud, criminal activity, and conflicts of interests or abuse involving the Commission, Commission employees, and those individuals and/or entities that conduct business with the Commission. Additionally, all employees of the Commission have an affirmative obligation to promptly report any information concerning such activity.
About Acting Gaming Inspector General Lisa Lee:
Lee most recently served as Deputy Inspector General for the NYC Health and Hospitals Corporation, where for nine years she was responsible for supervising and conducting investigations of highly sensitive and confidential matters for the multibillion dollar public benefit corporation. Prior to that, she served the New York City Department of Investigation as an Examining Attorney for six years, where she pursued corruption, misconduct and other violations of law, city and agency rules, regulations and ethical code of conduct. Lee also served as an Assistant District Attorney for the Kings County District Attorney’s Office as well as an attorney for the NYC Human Resources Administration.
Lee graduated cum laude with a Bachelors of Science, Criminal Justice Planning and Administration from John Jay College of Criminal Justice and obtained a Juris Doctor from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University.
About Special Assistant to the Gaming Inspector General Annette B. Almazan:
Almazan most recently served as Counsel to the Inspector General for the New York City Department of Investigation, where she pursued corruption, misconduct and other violations of law, city and agency rules, regulations and ethical code of conduct. Prior to that, she served as Assistant General Counsel for the New York City Department of Probation, where she pursued corruption, misconduct and other violations of law, city and agency rules, regulations and ethical code of conduct. She also served as an Assistant District Attorney for the Queens County District Attorney’s Office in various bureaus, including the Appeals Bureau and Homicide Investigations Bureau. She was a Law Fellow at Georgetown University Law Center in the D.C. Street Law Project High School program before returning to New York. Prior to attending law school, she was a Teach for America corps member in the Bay Area teaching high school English and Social Studies.
Almazan graduated cum laude with a Bachelors of Arts, double major in Honors English and Philosophy from Georgetown University. She graduated from the University of California School of Law with a Juris Doctor and certificates in the Program in Public Interest Law and Policy (now named for David J. Epstein) and in the Critical Race Studies Concentration. She also obtained a Masters of Law in Legal Advocacy from the Georgetown University Law Center.
Article 13 Sections §1368-1370 of the Racing, Pari-mutuel Wagering and Breeding Law establishes the Office of the Gaming Inspector General, its functions, duties, and powers. Further Article 13 § 1371 sets forth the responsibilities of the Commission and its Officers and employees.
§1368 - Establishment of the office of the gaming inspector general
There is hereby created within the commission the office of the gaming inspector general. The head of the office shall be the gaming inspector general who shall be appointed by the governor by and with the advice and consent of the senate. The inspector shall serve at the pleasure of the governor. The inspector shall report directly to the governor. The person appointed as inspector shall, upon his or her appointment, have not less than ten years professional experience in law, investigations, or auditing. The inspector shall be compensated within the limits if funds available therefor, provided, however such salary shall be no less than the salaries of certain state officers holding the positions indicated in paragraph a of subdivision one of section one hundred sixty-none of the executive law.
§1369 - State inspector general; functions and duties
The state gaming inspector general shall have the following duties and responsibilities:
1. Receive and investigate complaints from any source, or upon his or her own initiative, concerning allegations of corruption, fraud, criminal activity, conflicts of interest or abuse in the commission;
2. Inform the commission members of such allegations and the progress of investigations related thereto, unless special circumstances require confidentiality;
3. Determine with respect to such allegations whether disciplinary action, civil or criminal prosecution, or further investigation by an appropriate federal, state or local agency is warranted, and to assist in such investigations;
4. Prepare and release to the public written reports of such investigations, as appropriate and to the extent permitted by law, subject to redaction to protect the confidentiality of witnesses. The release of all or portions of such reports may be deferred to protect the confidentiality of ongoing investigations;
5. Review and examine periodically the policies and procedures of the commission with regard to the prevention and detection of corruption, fraud, criminal activity, conflicts of interest or abuse;
6. Recommend remedial action to prevent or eliminate corruption, fraud, criminal activity, conflicts of interest or abuse;
7. Establish programs for training commission officers and employees regarding the prevention and elimination of corruption, fraud, criminal activity, conflicts of interest or abuse in the commission.
§ 1370 - Powers
The state gaming inspector general shall have the power to:
1. Subpoena and enforce the attendance of witnesses;
2. Administer oaths or affirmations and examine witnesses under oath;
3. Require the production of any books and papers deemed relevant or material to any investigation, examination or review;
4. Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, examine and copy or remove documents or records of any kind prepared, maintained or held by the commission;
5. Require any commission officer or employee to answer questions concerning any matter related to the performance of his or her official duties. No statement or other evidence derived therefrom may be used against such officer or employee in any subsequent criminal prosecution other than for perjury or contempt arising from such testimony. The refusal of any officer or employee to answer questions shall be cause for removal from office or employment or other appropriate penalty;
6. Monitor the implementation by the commission of any recommendation made by [gaming] inspector general;
7. Perform any other functions that are necessary or appropriate to fulfill the duties and responsibilities of office.
§ 1371 - Responsibilities of the commission and its officers and employees
1. Every commission officer or employee shall report promptly to the state gaming inspector general any information concerning corruption, fraud, criminal activity, conflicts of interest or abuse by another state officer or employee relating to his or her office or employment, or by a person having business dealings with the commission relating to those dealings. The knowing failure of any officer or employee to so report shall be cause for removal from office or employment or other appropriate penalty. Any officer or employee who acts pursuant to this subdivision by reporting to the state gaming inspector general improper governmental action as defined in section seventy-five -b of the civil service law shall not be subject to dismissal, discipline or other adverse personnel action.
2. The commission chair shall advise the governor within ninety days of the issuance of a report by the state gaming inspector general as to the remedial action that the agency has taken in response to any recommendations for such action contained in such report.
Making a Report to the Office of the Gaming Inspector General
When making a report to the Office, provide as much of the following information as possible:
• Who is engaging/engaged in misconduct
• What misconduct occurred
• When and where it occurred
• Whether there are witnesses to the misconduct
• What laws or agency regulations have been violated
What happens after you make a report?
The information provided will be evaluated, and if warranted, an investigation will be conducted. You may be contacted to verify details or to provide additional information. If the investigation substantiates the allegations reported, the findings will be referred for prosecution, disciplinary proceedings, or ethical sanctions, as appropriate. Policy and procedure recommendations may also be made to the Commission.
It is the Office’s policy to protect your identity to the extent permitted by law during the course of an investigation. Although you are not required to identify yourself when you make a report, the Office encourages you to do so in the event additional questions arise.
New York State Gaming Commission Office of the Gaming Inspector General P.O. Box 233 New York, New York 10002 Phone: (844) 373-0841 Email: OIG@gaming.ny.gov
New York State Division of Human Rights (SDHR) Website: www.dhr.ny.gov Phone: (888) 392-3644 TTY number: (718) 741-8300
United State Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) Website: www.eeoc.gov Phone: (800) 669-4000 TTY number: (800) 669-6820