OC Political

A right-of-center blog covering local, statewide, and national politics

Posts Tagged ‘Gustavo Rodriguez’

OC Auditor-Controller Resumes, Schedules, and Details

Posted by Former Blogger Chris Emami on April 11, 2013

We are now moving on to the last few days prior to the appointment of a new Orange County Auditor-Controller. Ironically I learned an interesting tidbit of information while I was sitting at the Orange County Registrar of Voters this week about a candidate who was not initially  planning on running for this position. First off, we learned that two applicants Alexander Yu and Nick Pham have withdrawn their applications and thus will not be taking place in an interview. The one thing that strikes me on this office is that we have no political insiders that currently are involved in this process which is a great thing in my opinion.

330px-Seal_of_Orange_County,_California_svg
I have had plenty of time this morning to learn more than I ever wanted to know about the office of the Orange County Auditor-Controller thanks to jury duty. I actually reviewed financials for the office in order to get a picture of what the new person in charge will face upon taking office.

We list the candidates in alphabetical order since I did not see a schedule of interviews posted up on the Orange County Board of Supervisors website. All we know for certain is that interviews will start at :30 and unless I am sitting in a jury box I will be live blogging it.

Here we go:

George Beck- George Beck seems like a nice enough guy who has experience working for the Los Angeles Unified School District. His resume was a bit odd because I did not understand the timing of his jobs held within LAUSD. It might be because he put the years wrong on his resume but it appears he has taken a demotion in 2012 from LAUSD Deputy Branch Director (Finance) to the new designation of Team Member. This is LAUSD we are talking about, so it is possible that they did some kind of organizational realignment that changed the job titles of everybody.

Beck Resume

James Benuzzi- He has his MBA from Chapman University, the next best thing to Cal State Fullerton. I like the fact that he is a City of Orange guy and has years of experience working in the financial industry. He seems to meet the requirements necessary for the position and I have nothing to really fault or praise the guy for in his resume compared to the others.

Benuzzi Resume

Jan Grimes- She is the current acting head of the department and ironically I called her out in an earlier post for simply running as a caretaker, but it appears that she might be getting some pressure to run. While I was at the OC Registrar of Voters this week an individual came in asking questions about how to open up a committee in support of a candidate. This lady mentioned that she wanted to support Jan Grimes for OC Auditor-Controller. I don’t know what will come of this but paperwork was given to this person yesterday and I do not know what will come of this but I am less concerned about Grimes simply running and then leaving an open seat although she is still not my top choice.

Grimes Resume

Gustavo Rodriguez- I do not think he is a registered voter which surprises me that he has made it this far in the process. I also found the degree verification that he submitted with his application a bit puzzling. In terms of the resume itself he has got a pretty solid background in finance and obviously meets the qualifications (other than being a registered voter) necessary to hold this position.

Rodriguez Resume

Eric Woolery- Much like I picked my 2 favorites for Orange County Clerk-Recorder, I am going to do the same here. Eric Woolery is my personal favorite for this seat and he seems to have support from a lot of people on both sides of the aisle and of all different political factions. I do recall that he used to be a member of the Orange County Board of Education but this predates my time in OC politics. His resume appears to be very strong on the finance side and would be a solid choice for the Supervisors to make for this seat.

Woolery Resume

I don’t know what most of our readers spent this morning doing, but I had the fun task of reading the  Orange County Fiscal Year 2012-2013 Second Quarter Budget Report. Interestingly it appears that the new Auditor-controller will have some issues upon taking office. The following were two issues that stood out to me about the current status of the office.

1) Based on what I read it appears that the office of OC Auditor-Controller currently faces a $535,074 deficit for the previous fiscal year based on what I read. Remember, I m not an accountant but this is a bit bothersome for an agency that should be in the black. I will post the scanned image of this when I am done with jury duty later today.

2)This deficit comes despite being understaffed by 2.54% based on a later page in the document which I will also scan later. This was the best explanation that I originally had for the deficit, being that salaries/benefits often cause the most problems when it comes to budgeting. I hope the Supervisors ask about this in the interviews on Tuesday.

Posted in Orange County Auditor-Controller | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Party Affiliation of Orange County Auditor-Controller Applicants

Posted by Former Blogger Chris Emami on April 4, 2013

Now that we are done with the whirlwind that was the Orange County Clerk-Recorder procedure, it is time to move on to Orange County Auditor-Controller.

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We have already provided some coverage of the Auditor-Controller process and who was selected for an interview in a previous post. Here is the important part of the post which was initially released by the office of Supervisor Todd Spitzer in his weekly newsletter:

Here’s the list with background information on each of the interviewees:

  • George Beck, CIA, Mission Viejo
    • legacy replacement program team member, Los Angeles Unified School District
    • former director of accounting, Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority
    • former city auditor of the City of Houston, Texas
  • James Benuzzi, CIA, Orange
    • private sector internal auditor
    • former member of the Audit Oversight Committee, City of Placentia
    • first internal audit manager of the City of Orange
  • Jan Grimes, CPA, Dana Point
    • chief deputy auditor-controller of Orange County
    • former director of central accounting operations
    • former accounting manager of environmental management agency (now OC Public Works)
  • Nick Pham, CPA, Aliso Viejo
    • private sector regional controller
    • former private sector accounting manager
  • Gustavo Rodriguez, CPA, Fullerton
    • private sector financial management consultant
    • former CFO of various private sector medical entities
  • Eric Woolery, CPA, Orange
    • Riverside County district attorney’s deputy director of administration
    • former private sector CFO
    • former member of the Orange County Board of Education
  • Alexander Yu, CPA, Ladera Ranch
    • CFO of Tri-City Healthcare District
    • former CFO of various private sector medical entities

(CFO is Chief Financial Officer, CIA is Certified Internal Auditor, and CPA is Certified Public Accountant.)

Now we move on to the party affiliation of each of these applicants in order to provide a bit more information on each person applying for the position:

George Beck- Republican
James Benuzzi- Democrat
Jan Grimes- Democrat
Nick Pham- Democrat
Gustavo Rodriguez- Not Registered
Eric Woolery- Republican
Alexander Yu- Republican

This shows quite a bit of balance with 3 Republicans, 3 Democrats, and 1 candidate not registered all advancing to the final interview with the Board of Supervisors. As soon as we get any more information on this process or any of the applicants we will post it here for our loyal readers.

Posted in Orange County Auditor-Controller, Orange County Board of Supervisors | Tagged: , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

More Info: Background Info On Auditor-Controller Candidates

Posted by Former Blogger Chris Emami on March 22, 2013

The office of Supervisor Todd Spitzer released a list of all seven candidates who will be interviewed for Auditor-Controller in their newsletter. You can read the full newsletter here.

We’ll have continuing coverage on Auditor-Controller here on OC Political in the coming days and weeks.

Here’s the list with background information on each of the interviewees:

  • George Beck, CIA, Mission Viejo
    • legacy replacement program team member, Los Angeles Unified School District
    • former director of accounting, Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority
    • former city auditor of the City of Houston, Texas
  • James Benuzzi, CIA, Orange
    • private sector internal auditor
    • former member of the Audit Oversight Committee, City of Placentia
    • first internal audit manager of the City of Orange
  • Jan Grimes, CPA, Dana Point
    • chief deputy auditor-controller of Orange County
    • former director of central accounting operations
    • former accounting manager of environmental management agency (now OC Public Works)
  • Nick Pham, CPA, Aliso Viejo
    • private sector regional controller
    • former private sector accounting manager
  • Gustavo Rodriguez, CPA, Fullerton
    • private sector financial management consultant
    • former CFO of various private sector medical entities
  • Eric Woolery, CPA, Orange
    • Riverside County district attorney’s deputy director of administration
    • former private sector CFO
    • former member of the Orange County Board of Education
  • Alexander Yu, CPA, Ladera Ranch
    • CFO of Tri-City Healthcare District
    • former CFO of various private sector medical entities

(CFO is Chief Financial Officer, CIA is Certified Internal Auditor, and CPA is Certified Public Accountant.)

Posted in 3rd Supervisorial District, Orange, Orange County Auditor-Controller, Orange County Board of Education, Placentia | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

List of 7 Auditor-Controller Finalists: Why Is Jan Grimes On The List?

Posted by Former Blogger Chris Emami on March 20, 2013

Let me first start by saying yesterdays meeting of the Orange County Board of Supervisors was quite interesting as I did not expect the list of candidates for OC Auditor Controller to be whittled down. Call me pleasantly surprised as we now have our list of 7 finalists for the position which we are posting here for our loyal readers.

George Beck
James Benuzzi
Jan Grimes
Nick Pham
Gustavo Rodriguez
Eric Woolery
Alexander Yu

I have only heard of two individuals on this list and one of them was an absolute shock to me. Jan Grimes was one of the last people who I thought would apply based on statements that I had seen from her in the OC Register. At first I thought perhaps my memory was off, but then I heard this exchange take place:

11:10 AM- John Moorlach recommended that only Jan Grimes be interviewed for the position. I am surprised since she claimed she had no interest in the position based on my recollection.

11:11 AM- Supervisor Spitzer read my mind and also brings up the concern he has with somebody choosing to not finish their term if they get appointed. He is concerned about a candidate being really interested in the position instead of a caretaker.

11:13 AM- Janet Nguyen brings up the fact that Jan Grimes made the statement that she does not want to be elected in 2014 which is why she was not originally appointed.

11:14 AM- We might hear from Jan Grimes as she is in the room. It is up to her according to Supervisor Nelson.

11:15 AM- Supervisor Bates agrees to the idea of interviewing multiple candidates for the position.

11:16 AM- John Moorlach is really pushing Jan Grimes for whatever reason??? He admits that she is only interested in the term ending in 2014.

11:18 AM- Moorlach is concerned that the person appointed will have an advantage in the election and supports a caretaker in order to create an open election for the seat in 2014. I am very confused by this logic???

11:20 AM- Supervisor Nelson agrees with the 3 other Supes that  the remaining 7 candidates should be interviewed.

11:21 AM- If I recall correctly John Moorlach is being a hypocrite. He was appointed to the Treasurer Tax-Collector to fill an unexpired term and then ran for it with the incumbent title.

11:22 AM- FYI I just realized I did not type the 7 names earlier but here they are: George Beck, Jim Benoozi, Jan Grimes, Nick Pham, Gustavo Rodriguez, Eric Woolery, and Alexander Yoo.

11:25 AM- Supervisors Spitzer and Nguyen bring up examples of candidates claiming that they will or will not run and then changing their mind when the time comes to file for office. It is clear that they are both opposed to having a caretaker in the office.

11:26 AM- The item passes 4-1 with Moorlach dissenting to interview the 7 candidates mentioned above.

I decided to spend my late evening researching Jan Grimes after I recalled reading about her having no interest in the position and Supervisor Nguyen & Spitzer confirming my recollection. Here are a few articles that relate to the Auditor-Controller position:

1) The first article that I ran across was from the Voice of OC which discusses the possibility of making the position an appointed one. In order to give background on the article it was written after Deputy Auditor-Controller Shaun Skelly retired. The telling sentence from the article is as follows,

“Now Jan Grimes, whom Skelly appointed as interim auditor-controller, has told supervisors she doesn’t want the job either”

2) Another article that I ran across was a Total Buzz article written by OC Register reporter Andrew Galvin. This article talked about all three positions that the County was taking applications for at the time. He also makes mention of Jan Grimes no longer being in the OC Auditor-Controller hunt.

“Moorlach had planned to propose confirming Jan Grimes, a long-time county employee who has been serving as interim auditor-controller, in that role at next week’s board meeting. Now, that won’t happen.

Grimes has told the board she doesn’t want to take on the role of an elected official, preferring to remain a county employee.

Moorlach said he’s encouraged Grimes to apply for the post and thinks she’ll be the top candidate. Whether she can continue to run the department without becoming the incumbent is being researched by County Counsel Nick Chrisos. Taking over the elected post would mean she’d stop accruing annual leave and sick time and have to cash out what time she has, said Steve Danley, the county’s human resources director.”

I am going to dig a lot deeper on this one but something is really odd about this situation. The argument of having somebody try to gain the appointment as a caretaker for a year and then allow a bloody election for an open seat makes no sense whatsoever. This for whatever reason really bothers me that she didn’t want the position and now is very interested in the appointment (although I have yet to actually hear from her). The one thing that she has got going for her is that she is not a career politician which would bother me far more. We will have to wait and see what happens but I would like to learn a whole lot more about the other applicants left standing and would be far more encouraged by one of them being selected.

As soon as more information becomes available (I am constantly checking for a press release on this) on the final 7 applicants I will be reporting on it for our readers.

Posted in Orange County, Orange County Auditor-Controller | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »