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Lottery Host Claims Unfair Firing

May 3, 2001

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ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) _ A host of the televised New York lottery drawing was fired after mistaking a 6-ball for a 9-ball during a live broadcast, lottery officials said.

But Reny Monk contends she was fired for refusing to smoke, drink and play ``lottery jeopardy″ with her bosses in a bar during a sales conference, the New York Post reported Thursday.

Lottery spokeswoman Carolyn Hapeman said she wouldn’t ``dignify″ the claim with a response.

Monk, an aspiring actress and the niece of jazz great Thelonious Monk, said her lottery career ended after the bar incident when Lottery Director Margaret DeFrancisco told her: ``Well, Reny, it just seems like you don’t fit in. ... I think it’s best we part ways.″

Monk mixed up the winning lottery numbers _ then corrected the mistake _ on April 23 in her second televised appearance. She was fired after her third appearance and during a probationary period, Hapeman said.

Hapeman said mistakes have been made by other employees, but ``it’s a matter also of how you handle mix-ups and mistakes.″ She declined to say how Monk handled it except to say it was not done ``the way it should have.″

Members of the ``draw team″ make $15.44 an hour in the civil service job.

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