Palo Alto City Auditor James Pelletier will step down next month to join an international auditing organization, the city announced Thursday afternoon.
Pelletier, who served as chief of audits for San Diego County before joining Palo Alto in January 2012, plans to join the Institute of Internal Auditors, where he will lead the creation of The American Center of Government Auditing. The international organization has more than 180,000 members and 160 chapters in North America, according to its website.
Pelletier's position is one of four along with city manager, city attorney and city clerk -- that is appointed directly by the City Council. With his departure, the council plans to appoint an acting city auditor until a permanent replacement is found, according to a statement by Mayor Greg Scharff.
"We would like to thank Jim for his professionalism and collaborative approach, and wish him the very best in his new position and career opportunity," said Scharff said in the statement.
During his tenure, Pelletier's office has completed audits that uncovered flaws in the way the city's processes its office equipment; monitors employees' health care expenditures; and maintains its utility reserves. It has also been issuing the annual Service Efforts and Accomplishment reports, which summarize the performance of each department and include surveys of resident opinions of various services.
Over the past year, Pelletier has also been working on establishing the city's new fraud, waste and abuse hotline for employees.
The council appointed Pelletier to the post in November 2011, after an eight-month search.