Candidate for auditor-controller seeks investigation into opponent’s qualifications

Alan Riquelmy
The Union
Gina Will (middle) and Rob Tribble (right) were candidates for Nevada County auditor-controller. Jeff Pettitt, left, moderated their forum.
Provided/John Hart

Gina Will, a candidate for Nevada County auditor-controller, has asked the elections office to investigate her opponent, Rob Tribble, questioning whether he has the qualifications to hold the office.

County officials in a Monday letter referred the issue to the state Department of Justice and local District Attorney’s Office, saying the clerk-recorder/registrar of voters doesn’t conduct investigations.

The June 7 election hasn’t been certified, though all the votes are counted and Tribble is winning 16,928 to 13,967 votes, or 54.8% to 45.2%. Certification is expected Wednesday.

In a Friday letter, an attorney for Will asked Nevada County Clerk-Recorder/Registrar of Voters Greg Diaz to investigate whether Tribble has worked in a “senior fiscal management position” for at least three of the past five years — a requirement for becoming auditor-controller.

“This situation demands your immediate attention,” states James R. Sutton, Will’s attorney, in the letter. “If Mr. Tribble does not meet the qualifications of state and county law, he is legally prohibited from serving as county auditor-controller.”

Will said that during the campaign it appeared Tribble didn’t have the qualifications. Her attorney’s letter to Diaz states he evaded questions about his qualifications during a candidate forum.

“I just feel like, if he’s qualified, it would be really easy for him to show that,” Will said. “If he’s qualified for the position, I would just appreciate he would show us that.”

Contacted Monday, Tribble declined comment.

Natalie Adona, assistant clerk-recorder/registrar of voters, said her office typically doesn’t perform investigations. When candidates formally declare for office, they sign a statement — under penalty of perjury — that they qualify for the office and will not withdraw.

Elections officials spoke Monday with County Counsel Kit Elliott. Letters were then sent to Will’s attorney, as well as the District Attorney’s Office and the state Justice Department.

“As our office has no authority to investigate this matter, we are forwarding what we received to your respective offices,” the letter to the prosecutors states.

Both letters state that elections code provides no reason for a delay in the certification.

The district attorney and state Justice Department couldn’t be reached for comment.

Adona said her office performed no investigation when it was discovered a candidate for sheriff and district attorney didn’t qualify.

Lori Steele planned this year to run against Sheriff Shannan Moon, but bowed out after she told elections officials she hadn’t had full-time, salaried law enforcement experience within five years before filing for office.

Matt Beauchamp was to run against Wilson, but stepped back when elections officials told him he wasn’t a registered Nevada County voter — a requirement to run.

“It was brought to our attention that we should look at the voter registration,” Adona said.

Alan Riquelmy is the managing editor of The Union. He can be reached at

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