“Court finds and concludes that Defendant does not meet the qualifications required by law in Government Code section 26945 to serve as Auditor-Controller. As such, the Court annuls and sets aside the election of Defendant as Auditor-Controller.” This is the ruling of the Nevada County Superior Court in the case brought by current Assistant Auditor-Controller Gina Will against Rob Tribble.

Will challenged Tribble’s qualifications for the elected position of Auditor-Controller after the election. The Court, after preliminary hearings and a no show by Mr. Tribble at the first hearing, set dates for the trial to take place, starting on Oct. 31st.

Prior to the start of the trial, both parties jointly submitted a statement of stipulated facts – a recitation of facts they agreed on. While being questioned as a witness on day one of the trial, Tribble contradicted two of the stipulated facts, stating he did perform some functions not listed in the stipulation. (See our coverage here.)

Judge Tice-Raskin determined “Contestant has demonstrated, by clear and convincing evidence, that Defendant does not meet the qualifications required under Government Code section 26945(b). Specifically, Contestant has demonstrated that Defendant did not serve in a position “dealing with similar fiscal responsibilities” to that of a county auditor for a continuous period of three years within the last five years. Defendant has not satisfied the statutory experience requirement. As such, Defendant is not qualified for election as the Auditor-Controller under Government Code section 26945(b).

What’s next?

Either party has the option to appeal the ruling. We reached out to Mr. Tribble but have not heard back at publication time.

If there is no appeal, the matter will come before the Board of Supervisors who can appoint a qualified person or ask the current Auditor-Controller to stay on until a (special) election can be held. November 28, 2022 update: A special election is not an option.

Editor’s note: This is a developing story, check back for updates please.

November 18, 2022 at 2:18 PM Both Mr. Tribble and Ms. Will just responded to our requests for comment.

Gina Will: I was filled with relief and gratitude when I learned that the Nevada County Superior Court ruled that we had provided clear and convincing evidence that my opponent does not meet the statutory requirements to serve as Nevada County Auditor-Controller. Our democracy is sacred, so I did not take this mission lightly. I am honored to continue my service to Nevada County in the office of the Auditor-Controller by protecting our taxpayer assets through fiscal monitoring and transparent financial reporting.

Rob Tribble: Hamlet

Something is rotten in the state of Denmark. That one may smile and smile and be a villain. There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in our philosophy.