Gov. Mark Dayton appointed Michael Vekich interim executive director of the Minnesota State Lottery effective Feb. 3, his office announced Monday. 

Vekich replaces Ed Van Petten, who resigned abruptly after a Star Tribune report raised questions about questionable travel expenses, including $7,000 reimbursed to him after timeshare stays in which he was an owner. 

Vekich, a certified public accountant, is CEO of Vekich Chartered. He is chairman of the board of trustees of Minnesota State Colleges and Universities. 

In 2004, he was named interim executive director of the State Lottery by former Gov. Tim Pawlenty after the then-executive director took his own life after he faced questions about questionable expenses. 

Minnesota Management and Budget also confirmed that Lottery Chief Financial Officer Joe Pahl was suspended for a week while the Lottery General Counsel received a written reprimand, both for issues related to the Van Petten resignation and failing to properly exercise oversight over Lottery operations. Minnesota Public Radio first reported the disciplinary actions. 

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