Applicant Review Panel to Review Applications for the 2020 Citizens Redistricting Commission, the Second in State History

California State Auditor Announces the Applicant Review Panel to Review Applications for the 2020 Citizens Redistricting Commission, the Second in State History

Sacramento, Calif. (May 9, 2019) – Today, the California State Auditor, Elaine M. Howle, randomly selected the names of the members and alternate members of the Applicant Review Panel (panel) for the selection process for the 2020 Citizens Redistricting Commission (Commission). The random drawing was held at their office in Sacramento and was live streamed and a recorded video will soon be posted to ShapeCaliforniasFuture.auditor.ca.gov. 

The panel will review the application materials submitted by Californians interested in serving on the 2020 Commission and identify 60 of the most qualified applicants to serve on the 2020 Commission who will redraw the Congressional and State district lines. 

The panel members were randomly selected from a group of employees of the California State Auditor who have at least 10 years of independent auditing experience. The completed panel consists of one Democrat, one Republican, and one who is either registered without, or “independent” of, any political party (decline-to-state or no party preference) or with another party. 

The selection of the panel is the first major milestone in the application and selection process for the 2020 Citizens Redistricting Commission and occurred just one month prior to the start of the initial application period, set to begin June 10, 2019, and run through August 9, 2019.

 “Today, we selected the second Applicant Review Panel in State history and took the first step toward creating the 2020 Citizens Redistricting Commission. The three members of the panel are highly qualified individuals who, like all of our employees, must meet rigorous standards of integrity in the regular course of our daily duties,” said Elaine M. Howle, California State Auditor. “We look forward to their work identifying the most qualified applicants to form the Commission who will draw fair and legal districts for the good of our state and its future.” 

The panel is made up of the following individuals: 

Angela Dickison: Currently a Senior Auditor Evaluator II and earned a B.S. in Accounting at Sacramento State. She has been with the California State Auditor’s Office since 2005. Ms. Dickison is a Certified Public Accountant and has led audits of California’s financial statements, the State Bar’s financial operations and management practices, accounts outside California’s centralized treasury system, homelessness in California, and the hepatitis A outbreak in San Diego, among others. Ms. Dickison is registered with the Democratic Party. 

Ben Belnap: Serves as a Deputy State Auditor with the California State Auditor’s Office, with responsibility for leading a branch of the Office’s audits division that focuses on performance and information technology audits. In 2001, Mr. Belnap began his auditing career as a staff auditor for the California State Auditor’s Office. In that same year, Mr. Belnap graduated with a B.A. in Economics from Brigham Young University. Before earning his degree, Mr. Belnap worked full time as a finance forms programmer for car dealerships throughout the Northwest. During the last 18 years, Mr. Belnap—a Certified Internal Auditor—has served as Principal Auditor or audit supervisor for more than 40 published audit reports, including reports related to child protective services, the University of California, and Medi-Cal. Mr. Belnap is active in the Sacramento community, coaching numerous sports teams upon which his four children play, and he is registered to vote as no party preference. 

Ryan Coe: Currently serves as an Auditor Specialist II in the IT Audits Unit. He is a Certified Information Systems Auditor with more than 10 years of experience conducting audits of state and local government entities at the California State Auditor’s Office. Mr. Coe has conducted audits on a wide variety of topics including education, public safety, health care, and information security. He earned a B.A. in English from CSU Stanislaus and a master’s degree in Business Administration from Fresno State. Mr. Coe is registered with the Republican Party. 

The three alternate members include: 

Ralph Flynn: Has more than 13 years of experience conducting independent audits with the California State Auditor’s Office. Mr. Flynn currently serves as a Senior Auditor Evaluator II, and he has conducted and led independent audits in a variety of areas, including audits of the California Department of Transportation, California Department of Veterans Affairs, Disabled Veteran Business Enterprise Program, and the Mental Health Services Act. Mr. Flynn earned a B.A. in History from Gonzaga University and a Juris Doctor from Creighton University. Mr. Flynn is registered with the Democratic Party. 

Linus Li: A Principal Auditor with the California State Auditor’s Office. Mr. Li has managed performance audits of state agencies and local governments, including the California Department of Education, California Public Utilities Commission, and the City of Lincoln. In addition to his 13 years with the California State Auditor’s Office, Mr. Li has extensive experience working for management consulting firms that focused on improving governance, operations, and business processes of state and local governments throughout the nation. He also worked as a financial auditor for a public accounting firm, where he was responsible for conducting external financial audits of local governments and other entities. Mr. Li earned a B.A. in Business Administration with a concentration in Accounting from the University of Washington and a master’s degree in Business Administration from Sacramento State. Mr. Li is registered as no party preference. 

Josh Hooper: A Senior Auditor Evaluator I with the California State Auditor’s Office and has served with the Office since 2008. Mr. Hooper has worked on and led a variety of independent performance audits, including audits of the University of California, Judicial Branch of California, and Department of Health Care Services’ provision of preventive services for children in Medi-Cal. He has also worked on investigations of improper governmental activities by state employees and conducted work on the annual independent audit of California’s compliance with federal regulations as part of California’s Single Audit. Mr. Hooper participates in the National Legislative Program Evaluation Society and contributes to that organization’s official newsletter. Mr. Hooper earned a B.A. in Business Administration from Sacramento State, is a Certified Internal Auditor and a Certified Fraud Examiner, and he is registered with the Republican Party. 

For more information, please visit ShapeCaliforniasFuture.auditor.ca.gov. 

Note: California State Auditor, Elaine M. Howle, is available to speak with the media today to discuss the 2020 Citizens Redistricting Commission application and selection process from this afternoon at the Auditor’s Office at 621 Capitol Mall, Suite 1200, Sacramento, CA 95814. 

Link to eligibility requirements as defined by California Code, Government Code § 60824: Click here.

 

About the 2020 Citizens Redistricting Commission 

Every ten years, after the federal government publishes updated census information, California must redraw the boundaries of its Congressional, State Senate, State Assembly, and State Board of Equalization districts. In 2008, California voters passed the Voters FIRST Act authorizing the creation of an independent Commission comprised of 14 members. The 2020 Commission will include five Democrats, five Republicans, and four who are either registered without, or “independent” of, any political party (decline-to-state or no party preference) or with another party. The Commission is responsible for drawing the lines of each district. The initial application period for new Commission members begins June 10, 2019, and will run through August 9, 2019.   

For more information on the 2020 Citizens Redistricting Commission application and selection process, please visit ShapeCaliforniasFuture.auditor.ca.gov

 The California State Auditor is a state entity that is independent of the executive branch and legislative control. The purpose of the California State Auditor is to improve California government by assuring the performance, accountability, and transparency that its citizens deserve. For more information on the California State Auditor, please visit www.auditor.ca.gov


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