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Los Angeles County audit chief retires after 25 years with county

Los Angeles County supervisors voted Tuesday to appoint Assistant Auditor Controller John Naimo as interim head of the county's audit department.

Current Auditor-Controller Wendy Watanabe is retiring after 25 years with the county. She was appointed head auditor-controller in 2009, making her the first woman to hold the position.

The department is tasked with monitoring and administering the county's $25-billion budget, including setting fiscal policies, administering the county's payroll, apportioning property taxes, auditing county departments and vendors, and conducting fraud investigations.

The supervisors praised Watanabe's tenure. She thanked the board and her colleagues for their support.

"Your trust and support was very overwhelming to me," she said. "I would be lying to you to say that this was a very easy job. It was not."

The board unanimously approved appointing Naimo to fill the position on an interim basis effective March 31, at an annual salary of $198,808.

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Twitter: @sewella

abby.sewell@latimes.com

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