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Auditor-Controller Karen Paz Dominguez to resign July 1
Karen Paz Dominguez during a council meeting | Courtesy of Humboldt County{ }

Auditor-Controller Karen Paz Dominguez is resigning from her post tomorrow.

The Humboldt County administrative office made the announcement today that the County of Humboldt executed a formal separation agreement with the current auditor-controller, stating that Paz Dominguez will resign effective July 1.

The agreement follows a recent Board of Supervisors' decision to appoint Auditor-Controller-elect Cheryl Dillingham to serve as interim Auditor-Controller once Paz Dominguez resigns.

Paz Dominguez has been long accused of not filing county financial reports on time, leading to multiple lawsuits and a mandate that she complete her obligations. The Board of Supervisors ultimately issued a "vote of no confidence" in Paz Dominguez.

Terms of the agreement include a “smooth transition” with any new auditor-controller, a salary payout to Paz Dominguez of $92,368.32, payments in lieu of insurance benefits, plus a flat amount of $15,000.

The county will also be responsible for paying attorney fees Paz Dominguez incurred related to the State of California’s case against her in addition to the $13,254.85 in fees she incurred during the Humboldt Superior Court Case.

Under the agreement, the county will also dismiss its cross-complaint against Paz Dominguez in the State of California case and will defend and indemnify her in the case, according to the administrative office.

The county will also defend and indemnify her in any other suit against her regarding her service. This includes defending her if the City of Eureka sues the county and Paz Dominguez for failure to distribute when due property taxes for the 2021-22 fiscal year.

The separation agreement and Dillingham’s formal appointment will likely come back to the board for final approval on July 12.

The full separation agreement can be read here. 

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