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VENTURA COUNTY NEWS

6 Interviewed for County's Top Position

February 21, 2001|TINA DIRMANN | TIMES STAFF WRITER

The Board of Supervisors on Tuesday interviewed six candidates vying to become the county's new chief administrative officer.

In a closed-door meeting, the board spent the day reviewing candidates for the position being vacated April 1 by interim Chief Administrative Officer Harry Hufford.

While county officials are being tight-lipped on the candidates, Supervisor John Flynn has confirmed two of the six seeking the job now work as top county managers.

John Johnston, director of the county's General Services Agency, and Marty Robinson, chief deputy administrative officer, are among those being considered for the post that is responsible for overseeing 8,000 employees and a $1-billion annual budget.

The remaining candidates are administrators from other counties, but officials have refused to name them. Supervisors argue that releasing the names will scare away prospects, who may not want their employers to know they are searching for a new position.

Hufford, who served as Los Angeles County's chief administrative officer for 11 years, came out of retirement to temporarily serve in Ventura County after an abrupt exit by David Baker in late November 1999. Baker left as CAO after only four days on the job, leaving behind a resignation letter that warned that Ventura County was on the brink of bankruptcy.

Hufford has been credited with helping the county get back on sound financial footing. The 69-year-old administrator, however, has vowed to return to retirement in April.

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