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Gov. Asa Hutchinson has appointed J. Eric Hagler the new director of the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery, replacing Bishop Woosley, who officially stepped down on Monday.
The Department of Finance and Administration, whose oversight includes the lottery, announced the appointment Thursday.
“The lottery director position requires a wide skill set, including the ability to remain focused on the program’s key goal of providing scholarships to Arkansans,” Hutchinson said in a news release. “Eric brings this to the Scholarship Lottery. We are proud to bring Eric home to Arkansas and look forward to him leading a great team of employees.”
A native Arkansan, Hagler began his career in law 31 years ago as an Arkansas deputy prosecuting attorney, according to the DF&A. He later created his own law firm, presided as a magistrate judge in Bentonville and served as special associate justice of the state Supreme Court in 2003. He is moving to Arkansas from California to lead the lottery.
“I’m grateful for the confidence placed in me by Governor Hutchinson and [DF&A] Secretary [Larry] Walther,” Hagler said in a news release. “Sandi and I are thrilled to be coming home to Arkansas, and I’m excited to meet the staff and get to know the executive and legislative branches of government quickly.”
Hagler graduated from the University of Arkansas and the University of Arkansas at Little Rock Bowen School of Law. He is married to Sandra Woodward Hagler, and the couple have three grown children.