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The City Council this afternoon appointed three public members to the city’s Audit Committee as part of changes to the internal audit process approved in June.

The Audit Committee, formerly made up of three council members, was revamped under Proposition C, a ballot measure approved in June. The new committee has three members of the public and only two council members, currently Kevin Faulconer and Carl DeMaio.

The new public committee members, chosen from a group of five applicants deemed qualified by a screening panel, are:

  • Stephen Grant, who manages information technology audit and compliance projects for defense contractor Science Applications International Corp.
  • Charles Sellers, managing partner of his own accounting firm and a former manager at Ernst & Young. Sellers has served on the Peñasquitos Town Council and planning board and has supported new Councilwoman Sherri Lightner.
  • Wade McKnight, an audit partner at the accounting and consulting firm J.H. Cohn.

DeMaio, Faulconer and Council President Ben Hueso said Grant’s information technology experience would help as the city works through troubles implementing a massive software program known as the Enterprise Resource Planning initiative, or ERP.

The council had three different terms to fill: a two-year, a three-year and a four-year term.

Grant will serve a four-year term after initially splitting the vote 4-4 with Sellers, who subsequently offered to take the three-year term. That prompted Councilman Tony Young to switch his vote to Grant, joining Lightner, Faulconer, DeMaio and Todd Gloria.

The council, citing Sellers’ public service and leadership, then voted 7-1 to appoint Sellers to a three-year term, with Lightner opting for McKnight.

Five council members voted to appoint McKnight to the remaining two-year term, with Donna Frye voting for Encinitas resident Robert Campbell and Gloria and Hueso supporting Peter Parmenter, director of internal controls at BioMed Realty Trust Inc., a local real estate investment trust. Another candidate, Merice Nelles, dropped out before the meeting.

Prop. C changed the city’s internal audit functions so the city’s internal auditor reports to the Audit Committee and can no longer be fired by the mayor. But the mayor continues to hire the auditor, a measure that led to opposition of the ballot measure.

RANI GUPTA

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