Adriane D. McCoy, a Chicago-based consultant who took over as Palo Alto's city auditor last fall after the abrupt departure of her predecessor, will retain the job on a permanent basis after securing the City Council's unanimous support on Monday, April 24.
The council swiftly approved a recommendation from its Council Appointed Officers Committee to name McCoy as the permanent city auditor, which is one of just four City Hall positions that get filled directly by council members. McCoy, a consultant with Baker Tilly US, has been holding the position on an interim basis since September, when she took over from her predecessor and Baker Tilly colleague Kyle O'Rourke.
As such, she is the second person from the private sector to occupy the critical role since the council opted in 2020 to outsource the auditor function and eliminate every position in the Office of the City Auditor. Council members then chose Baker Tilly, a national firm whose clients include cities such as Carlsbad, Modesto and Richmond and utility organizations such as the Sacramento Municipal Utility District and California Public Utilities Commission.
Vice Mayor Greer Stone, who chairs the Council Appointed Officers Committee, strongly supported keeping McCoy as the city auditor. The council appointed her last September after an interview process involving three candidates, all from Baker Tilly. The council committee conducted those interviews after O'Rourke suddenly resigned from his role in August 2022.
Stone said he had appreciated McCoy stepping in for O'Rourke after his departure and called her an "excellent auditor."
"Not only on paper is Ms. McCoy incredibly qualified for the position, I think she's done a wonderful job … not only through audit reports that are easy to read and digest … but also Ms. McCoy has been very open and accessible to any questions I have," Stone said. "The ease of accessibility, the professionalism and most importantly, at the end of the day, just the pure work product that is what we expect here in Palo Alto."
Mayor Lydia Kou said in a statement that the appointment of McCoy is a "key milestone for our community."
"Adriane's 30-year internal audit career experience and leadership serving in the public sector for city, state and federal government entities will ensure City auditing best practices, and further Council's commitment to internal auditing, transparency, and accountability in government," she said.
According to a report from Office of the City Clerk, McCoy has spent more than 25 years in the public sector, consulting on ways to improve operations and reduce risks. A certified internal auditor and government auditing professional, she serves as membership director for the Association of Government Accountants and holds a master's degree in cybersecurity, network and infrastructure concentration from DePaul University.
The Monday action means that barring unforeseen circumstances, McCoy will be the city auditor at least until June 30, 2025, which is when the existing contract with Baker Tilly expires. The council agreed last May to extend its relationship with the firm, which is now under a $3.4 million, five-year contract for auditing services.
McCoy, who generally works remotely but who appeared in person for the Monday vote, is scheduled to present to the council's Policy and Services Committee on April 25 her latest two audits: one pertaining to working remotely and another on electronic payment processes. She said Monday that she was excited to move forward as Palo Alto's city auditor on a permanent basis.
"My feeling has always been, at the end of a workday, that I want to make sure that I can check myself and say I've done the best I possibly can for the people who are depending on me," McCoy said. "Because there are people depending on us, every day all day. This will be another opportunity for me to give back and assist you and hopefully we'll accomplish things that we'd like to accomplish."