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Hearing set in contested auditor-controller election; is winner qualified or not?

A filing in Nevada County Superior Court by the loser of the June primary election has put the auditor-controller race on a fast track, with a hearing in the case set for this week.

The contest filed on behalf of losing candidate Gina Will alleges that Rob Tribble, the winner of the auditor-controller race, doesn’t have the required qualifications to hold the office.

Will claims that Tribble, who won with 54.8% of the vote, has not served in a “senior fiscal management position” with a government, private firm or nonprofit group for three of the past five years.

“Mr. Tribble has had ample time to do the right thing and provide his qualifications or concede that he is not qualified to serve as Nevada County auditor-controller,” Will said in a statement. “Over the last several weeks he has received multiple requests by the county, local media and my attorney to document his credentials. At this point, I can only conclude that he plans to continue to mislead Nevada County voters.”

Contacting Monday, Tribble declined comment.

Tribble was set for a deposition Monday, and a hearing on the issue is set for 9 a.m. Wednesday in Superior Court. It’s expected a judge will set a schedule for attorneys to submit written arguments.

“It really is just a preliminary hearing to just talk about the case,” said Jim Sutton, Will’s attorney, adding later, “There’s not weeks of factual legal issues to resolve.”

While not experiencing the same rush that would occur if this election was set for November, Sutton said a resolution is needed. The auditor-controller will want time to put their team in place before taking office.

The race is one of two local contested races that gained momentum after the June 7 election.

The other was the clerk-recorder/registrar of voters race. Randy Economy, talk show host and a former key player in the Gov. Gavin Newsom recall effort, requested a recount on behalf of candidate Jason Tedder.

Natalie Adona won the clerk-recorder race with 22,800 votes, or 67.9%. Tedder received 7,843 votes, or 23.3%. Paul Gilbert took 2,942 votes, 8.8%.

Economy opted against going ahead with the recount, citing a $83,000 estimated cost.

Alan Riquelmy is the managing editor of The Union. He can be reached at ariquelmy@theunion.com or 530-477-4249


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