Tablack offered CFO job in Alabama

By Jeanne Starmack


Former Mahoning County auditor and administrator George Tablack is being offered a job in Birmingham, Ala., that will require him to wrestle with more than $4 billion in debt.

With his background, though, he appears to be well-suited to become the new chief financial officer of Jefferson County, Ala., County Manager Tony Petelos said Wednesday.

“We filed for the largest local-government bankruptcy in the history of the United States,” Petelos said, adding that November’s bankruptcy filing came on the heels of “generations” of corrupt and mismanaged government.

The state Legislature required the county to restructure its government from a commission that handled both legislative and executive duties to a county-manager form of government.

Petelos became county manager in October, he said, and the CFO post is new.

He said he likes Tablack’s style: “It’s similar to mine.”

“It’s been difficult over here,” he said.

Petelos said the county hired a company to do a national search for someone to fill the CFO post.

“There were several dozen who applied, and the search company narrowed it down, then we narrowed it down,” he said.

Petelos said it is Tablack’s experience with bonds and “working under adverse situations with budgets” that won him the job offer.

The job will pay $180,000 a year if the county com-mission votes to approve that salary Tuesday, Petelos said. Tablack then must pass routine employee background screenings, and the job is his.

Tablack did not return phone calls to comment.

He was first elected Mahoning County auditor in 1986. He stepped down in July 2005 to become chief financial officer of the clerk and comptroller office of Palm Beach County in Florida.

In November 2005, however, he came back to Mahoning County as director of the Office of Management and Budget. He was hired in May 2006 as county administrator and continued on as budget director.

In May 2010, Tablack was given a one-year contract in which his annual salary was $103,899 minus 10 percent in the form of an unpaid holiday every two weeks.

In May 2011, commissioners sent Tablack a letter telling him they were not extending his contract.

The letter was signed by two commissioners, John A. McNally IV and Carol Rimedio-Righetti. Commissioner Anthony Traficanti did not sign it, according to Vindicator files.

McNally was one of five people charged in July 2010 with conspiring to impede the move of the county’s Department of Job and Family Services from Cafaro Co.-owned rented quarters to Oakhill Renaissance Place in 2007. Those charges were dismissed in July 2011.

The county bought Oak-hill in 2006. Tablack favored the Oakhill purchase, and McNally opposed it, according to Vindicator files.

McNally said at the time that his vote not to renew Tablack’s contract was unrelated to the Oakhill litigation.

Rimedio-Righetti said then that the commissioners wanted “to move in a different direction for Mahoning County.”

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