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Nevada County Elections Office published the final update of the June Primary elections Friday afternoon. The uncertified results show Rob Tribble (16,928 votes) ahead of Gina Will (13,967 votes) for the position of Nevada County Auditor Controller. Also late Friday afternoon, Will’s legal counsel sent a letter to Registrar of Voters Greg Diaz demanding an investigation into the qualifications of Rob Tribble and a delay of the election result certification.

The letter reads, in part:

As you know, according to the most recent election results released by your office, Mr. Tribble has received more than 50 percent of the vote and will most likely be declared the winner. However, we have serious concerns about whether Mr. Tribble meets the qualifications for the office under state and County law and therefore demand that your office immediately investigate the matter before certifying the election results.

Sutton Law Firm letter: Demand for Immediate Investigation into Auditor-Controller Candidate Rob Tribble’s Qualifications of Office

The Elections Office has released their response to the letter today. It reads, in part:

Though the Nevada County Clerk-Recorder is not an agency that conducts investigations, we can provide the California Department of Justice and the Nevada County District Attorney with the materials you sent to us that articulate your client’s concerns.

Response to Sutton Law Firm by Nevada County Registrar of Voters

The letter goes on to state that Mr. Tribble signed the declaration of candidacy on March 8, 2022. Under Elections Code section 13.5, signed declarations like these are sufficient for the Registrar of Voters to accept a candidate’s nomination.

Regarding your other request, there is no provision in the Elections Code that we can find that would cause our office to delay certification. We expect to certify election results on Wednesday, June 29, 2022.

Response to Sutton Law Firm by Nevada County Registrar of Voters

The Registrar of Voters’ letter to the California Department of Justice and Nevada County District Attorney’s Office reads, in part:

As our office has no authority to investigate this matter, we are forwarding what we received to your respective offices. When Rob Tribble completed candidate filing on March 8, 2022, our office provided him with a Declaration of Candidacy, which includes a signed statement under penalty of perjury that the candidate meets the state and local required qualifications for office. On March 16, 2022, we also obtained a signed statement by the candidate in which he indicated how he meets the qualifications for Auditor-Controller. Under Elections Code section 13.5, signed declarations like these are sufficient for the Registrar of Voters to accept a candidate’s nomination. To our knowledge there is no provision in the Elections Code that we can find that would cause our office to delay certification. We expect to certify election results on Wednesday, June 29, 2022.

Registrar of Voters letter to California Department of Justice and Nevada County District Attorney

Gina Will has served as Assistant Auditor-Controller since July 2020 and was the Finance Director/Treasurer of the Town of Paradise for the preceding twelve years.

Reached for comment, Will stated “If Mr. Tribble is not able to demonstrate his legal qualifications for the office, I will consider other options. I am not contesting the vote count.”

Reached for comment on Friday, Tribble stated “I will respond soon, as I did when you asked the question before.” No further response was received at publication time. His previous response read, in part:

I have:

MBA from University of Chicago with an emphasis pn Finance and Quantitative Analysis (2 Years)

BS from University of Colorado – Economics (3 years)

Independent Consultant to CFO’s, Investors, etc. Doing CFO and financial analysis related work (last 15-20 years)

Email dated March 18, 2022

The qualifications for County Auditor-Controller are codified in the state government code:

26945. No person shall hereafter be elected or appointed to the office of county auditor of any county unless the person meets at least one of the following criteria:

(a) The person possesses a valid certificate issued by the California Board of Accountancy under Chapter 1 (commencing with Section 5000) of Division 3 of the Business and Professions Code showing the person to be, and a permit authorizing the person to practice as, a certified public accountant or as a public accountant.

(b) The person possesses a baccalaureate degree from an accredited university, college, or other four-year institution, with a major in accounting or its equivalent, as described in subdivision (a) of Section 5081.1 of the Business and Professions Code, and has served within the last five years in a senior fiscal management position in a county, city, or other public agency, a private firm, or a nonprofit organization, dealing with similar fiscal responsibilities, for a continuous period of not less than three years.

(c) The person possesses a certificate issued by the Institute of Internal Auditors showing the person to be a designated professional internal auditor, with a minimum of 16 college semester units, or their equivalent, in accounting, auditing, or finance.

(d) The person has served as county auditor, chief deputy county auditor, or chief assistant county auditor for a continuous period of not less than three years.

(Amended by Stats. 2000, Ch. 1055, Sec. 37. Effective September 30, 2000.)