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L.A. Deputy Chief Set for Lottery Security Job

Times Staff Writer

A deputy Los Angeles police chief, who vows “it’s going to be a corruption-free lottery for California,” is expected to be named next week to head up security for California’s long-stalled games of chance.

Lew Ritter of La Habra Heights is expected to be named during a meeting of the California Lottery Commission on June 19, his 49th birthday.

“That may be my birthday present,” said Ritter, who would neither confirm nor deny the appointment, which is pending approval by Gov. George Deukmejian and the Lottery Commission.

On Lottery Business

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The prospective security chief, who traveled to Atlanta this week on lottery business, is a 28-year veteran of the Los Angeles Police Department, with extensive experience in vice investigation, including gambling.

Ritter, who started police work as a traffic cop, commanded a vice unit as a lieutenant in 1977 and later was commander of the Bureau of Special Investigations with jurisdiction over administrative vice.

As a deputy chief, Ritter has overseen activities of five vice units and also has participated in special briefing sessions on organized crime. He currently is in charge of personnel and training.

The lottery security chief, who will make $58,400 per year, has several duties awaiting him, including supervising background checks on about 20,000 ticket sellers due this fall to begin marketing the lottery’s first attraction, a $1-per-ticket instant “scratch-off.” Ritter traveled to Atlanta to inspect security at the ticket printing plant operated by Dittler Bros. Inc.

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14 Million a Day

According to lottery officials, about 14 million multicolored tickets are coming off the press each day, with 700 million expected to be ready for sale for the first two lottery games.

“It’s going to be a corruption-free lottery, administered fair and honestly. I can guarantee I’ll put every bit of my energy into that,” Ritter said of the pending appointment.

Ritter would retire from the Los Angeles Police Department on his appointment. His LAPD salary is $89,500, and he has reached the maximum pension level in the department.

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“I’m getting in on the ground floor of something very exciting and very challenging,” he said. “I’m concerned about the lottery. I want to be sure as I close out my law enforcement career that I am offering something back for all it has done for me.”


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