James Pelletier, who has served in the County of San Diego's Office of the City Auditor for the past four-and-a-half years (including two years as chief of audits), will assume his new position on Jan. 9, the city announced.
The City Council unanimously approved Pelletier's contract Monday night. He will receive a base salary of $156,000.
The city auditor is one four Palo Alto positions — along with city manager, city clerk and city attorney — that is appointed by the council. The council chose Pelletier after an eight-month search that began after prior City Auditor Lynda Brouchard resigned.
Mike Edmonds has been serving as the interim city auditor.
"I know my experience and approach to auditing will make for a great fit with the City of Palo Alto," Pelletier said in a statement. "As I see it, the purpose of internal auditing is to add value and improve operations by providing independent, objective assurance and consulting services.
"I look forward to putting that perspective into practice here in the City Auditor's office."
Councilwoman Karen Holman, who chairs the Council Appointed Officers Committee, lauded Pelletier for his audit-management experience in public and private sectors. Pelletier won the 2010 National Association of Counties Achievement Award last year for his effort to improve internal controls at San Diego County. He had also spent three years in the private sector as an internal audit manager and, before that, was an auditor at California State University, Long Beach.
"His diversity of experience should serve our city's needs well, and we are excited to welcome him to the team," Holman said in a statement.