Marcia Hall resigns after losing to Todd Miller

Hall is the third Madera auditor/controller to leave office in the past five years

awileman@sierrastar.comJune 10, 2014 

In an unprecedented move, Madera County Auditor/Controller Marcia Hall submitted her resignation to the Board of Supervisors early Wednesday morning following her defeat in the June 3, election.

After being appointed to the Madera County Auditor/Controller position in Dec. 2011, and spending two years working to complete several previously delayed audits, it took Marcia Hall just a few hours to pack her things and vacate her office following the results of Tuesday's June 3, primary election.

According to statements made to the Madera Tribune, Hall's decision to resign rested solely on her family's needs, citing her commitment to her family as the main reason for leaving prior to the completion of her term.

"Obviously, we are disappointed with the results, but the Madera County voters have spoken," Hall said in a prepared statement.

Prior to the June 3 election, Hall was under scrutiny for several questionable matters including residency issues and in-house lawsuits.

An article written in Big Valley News on March 25, accused Hall of defrauding Madera County by living, and filing home owner-occupied taxes in Merced while working in an elected Madera County position

According to elected county office qualifications, no matter whether the officer is elected or appointed, the holder of an elected county office must reside in the county of which they work.

Detailed reports showed Hall owned a home and lived in Merced when she was appointed by the board of supervisors in a 3-2 vote in December of 2011.

It should be noted that the board was aware of her residency issues at the time of her application for appointment and upon legal advisement, in a unanimous vote, chose to waive the residency requirement until her potential re-election in June, 2014.

According to Hall, she had a difficult time finding a home to rent but finally found one inside Madera County, near the Chowchilla golf course, where she claimed residency throughout her campaign.

Other accusations include untimely reports which stood to cost the county millions in lost revenue, something Hall credited to the culture prior to her arrival.

In lieu of Hall's absence, on Tuesday, June 10, the Board of Supervisors unanimously decided to place a motion on next Tuesday's agenda on whether or not to appoint, elected auditor/controller, Todd Miller to the auditors position prior to his official sware-in date of January.

The board waived a clause that would require Miller to finish the 2014 yearly audit report by the end of the year, claiming it would possibly set Miller up for failure.

However, the board asked Miller, if appointed, to limit any managerial style changes, stating that the completion of the 2014 audit should take priority over any and all managerial decision.

"This isn't the time to make changes. Let's just get the audit done," said District 2 Supervisor David Rodgers. "We can't overstate the importance of the audit because it is almost finished."

During Tuesday's meeting, Madera County Chief Executive Officer Eric Fleming personally recommended the appointment of Assistant Auditor/Controller Karl Noyes to the position until Miller is ready to take office, noting Noyes' knowledge and experience as the main reasons for his endorsement.

"Karl Noyes has reassured me that progress will continue and he has stepped up to take on day-to-day responsibilities," Fleming said.

However, Noyes expressed his trust in Miller and personally recommended to the board to appoint Miller, stressing good communication and confidence in Miller's abilities as an auditor.

District 5 Supervisor, Tom Wheeler, restated the importance of recognizing Hall's resignation and moving forward.

According to Wheeler this year's audit, if completed by its mid-July deadline, will be the first yearly audit to be submitted on-time in roughly a decade.

"We are closer to being all caught up [on audits] than we have been in ten years. We have been fighting it and we are so close it's not funny," Wheeler said.

Wheeler is confident in Miller's ability to continue cleaning up the inconsistencies that caused so many delays throughout the auditor's office and cost the county funding.

"We cannot wait for January, I think we need to just move forward and move on," Wheeler said. "I don't want to miss that date. I hope everyone is on board and we can get it completed on-time."

Hall is the third Madera County auditor-controller to resign in the past five years and her resignation comes two years after the resignation of Hall's predecessor, Janet Kroeger.

Fleming, said he was caught off guard by Hall's resignation and believes Hall's time and hard work in her time in office wasn't for nothing.

"I don't know why she resigned but I think she has done a good job up to this point," Fleming said. "She made obvious improvements in getting us caught up on our yearly audits."

According to Fleming, Noyes has temporarily taken over day-to-day operation until the board can come up with an interim auditor/controller to fill the position.

Miller plans to train under the supervision of Monterey County Auditor, Mike Miller, to obtain the proper information and gain the techniques necessary to be a county auditor. According to Wheeler, if appointed early, would be willing to give Miller the time needed to get up to speed.

Miller, who recently defeated Hall in the election for the Madera County auditor-controller by a 56% to 43% vote, said he is ready to take office whenever he is requested.

"Ms. Hall's untimely resignation is unfortunate and will preclude an orderly transfer... if the Board so decides I stand ready to take over the duties of Auditor/Controller immediately," Miller said.

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