Government

City Hires Former Deputy Auditor to Assist Finance Department

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – The city has hired a former deputy state auditor and executive director of the Ohio Lottery Commission to assist with the city’s finance department and help search for a new finance director.

The Board of Control this morning approved hiring Michael Abouserhal for up to $25,000 through April 30. Abouserhal will be paid $150 per hour plus mileage and reimbursement under the contract.

He is expected to start next week, Mayor Jamael Tito Brown said following the board’s meeting.

The scope of services covered under the agreement includes, but isn’t limited to, assessment of the city’s financial condition, evaluation of the proposed 2018 budget, evaluation of the long-term budgetary forecast and selection of a finance director, as well as other services deemed necessary by the mayor.

“We contacted the state auditor’s office and started asking around,” Brown said. While Abouserhal wasn’t interested in the finance director position, he was willing to work as a consultant for the city.

The city’s longtime finance director, David Bozanich, left late last year. Kyle Miasek, deputy finance director, is serving as interim finance director as the city conducts a national search to fill the position.

No one applied for the job when Brown sought applicants to fill posts in his administration.

Abouserhal is a certified public accountant whose resume includes heading the lottery commission from August 2006 to May 2007, and as senior deputy auditor with the state auditor’s office from July 1996 to April 2002. He also served terms as assistant director of finance and controller for the city of Cleveland.

Most recently, he was vice president of finance and business services at Cuyahoga Community College, where he had previously served as executive director of accounting and finance operations.

Abouserhal already has “some familiarity” with Youngstown, having worked on a performance audit of the city while at the state auditor’s office, Brown said. After working with the city on the current budget, he will have “a good sense internally of what we need” and the skills that the next finance director should have, Brown said.

Brown declined to give a timeline for when he expected to fill the finance director post.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.