Councilman Kevin Faulconer will chair the proposed Audit Committee, pending the council’s confirmation Jan. 9, after Council President Scott Peters nominated him to the post today.

Peters also nominated Councilwoman Donna Frye and Councilman Tony Young to the committee, which will be charged with monitoring the city government’s watchdog arm once the panel is created.

Faulconer and Frye had both expressed interest in heading the committee, which will be officially formed at the same Jan. 9 meeting.

City Hall officials have noted Faulconer’s close allegiance to Mayor Jerry Sanders, who runs the bureaucracy and financial reporting operation that the Audit Committee will be keeping a watchful eye over. Others said that they were cautious of allowing Frye to chair the group because of her close relationship to City Attorney Mike Aguirre, who rankles those who claim he is overly critical and outspoken.

The nominations come one day after the announcement that Auditor & Comptroller John Torell resigned.

Several council members liked Torell’s candid style and applauded his move to gain more independence from the Mayor’s Office. The transition to the strong-mayor form of government last year required that the Auditor & Comptroller’s Office report to the mayor while inspecting his administration.

Torell returned to the county of Santa Barbara, where he served as assistant auditor before being hired by the city of San Diego in 2005. A replacement for Torell has not been named.

(Correction: The original version of this post erroneously reported that Torell was hired by San Diego in 2004. We regret the error.)


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