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Fired Lottery CEO To Receive $165,000 Payout

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Tom E. Romero, the recently fired chief executive officer of the New Mexico Lottery, will receive one year’s pay between now and June 30, 2014, lottery board’s chairman Dan Salzwedel said today.
Romero, whose annual salary was $165,000, will be paid in equal installments during that period, Salzwedel said. The former CEO will also receive health care coverage through June 30, at a cost to the lottery of about $5,700, Salzwedel said.
Following a 70-minute closed executive session held Nov. 13 at lottery headquarters, the seven-member, governor appointed board voted unanimously to immediately terminate Romero’s contract, which was not scheduled to end until July 31, 2015. No explanation was given for firing Romero, and he declined to discuss his termination after the meeting.
Romero, who had been the lottery’s executive vice president of security since its inception in 1996, had been CEO since June 1, 2006. He was interim CEO for seven months prior to that.
Salzwedel said lottery finance director Sylvia Jaramillo has been named acting CEO, and that the board hopes to name an interim CEO within three weeks. A national search for a permanent CEO will be conducted, he said, and could wrap up in February.

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