By Mark Waite
Embattled Nye County Treasurer Mike Maher submitted his resignation last Thursday, effective March 30, citing medical reasons.
Former County Commissioner Joni Eastley threatened legal action in late 2011 after Maher was six months late filing monthly treasurer’s reports with the county commission. The reports were then criticized for not being reconciled with bank statements. Commissioners found discrepancies like a large amount of outstanding checks and unallocated funds, as well as a cash on hand figure that remained the same.
Maher blamed it on problems with the new county financial system.
When Maher appeared before commissioners in January 2012, they approved paying overtime so Chief Deputy Treasurer Kim Lara could finish reconciling monthly reports through July 31, 2012, so the annual audit report could be prepared.
Former County Treasurer Gary Budahl said Maher also failed to allocate $1.5 million of interest income earned from county investments to participants in the pool.
It will be up to county commissioners to name his replacement. County Manager Pam Webster said Maher recommended Lara be appointed as his replacement.
“I’ll ask commissioners how they expect to move forward,” Webster said Monday. “I think we can operate without one probably for some period of time.”
The treasurer’s office operated with only Maher and Deputy Treasurer Cammy Leier in the Pahrump office, while the Tonopah office was staffed with four employees; besides Lara there are deputy treasurers Corrie Ebeling, Angela Sperry and Jennifer Perry.
Maher began work for Nye County as a general services administrator in July 2002 and was promoted to assistant county manager in March 2003. After the termination of former county manager Dave Chavez in June 2003, Maher was named county manager. But Maher was terminated by a 3-2 vote of county commissioners in March 2006 along with former comptroller Marie Owens, for failing to notify commissioners for six months that the Nevada Department of Taxation had refused their request for a $3 million loan to balance the budget.
Maher ran for the District 4 county commission seat in 2006 but lost in the primary, where he finished fourth out of five candidates with 130 votes, 16.5 percent of the total. In November 2010, however, Maher, a Republican, handily defeated incumbent treasurer Budahl, a Democrat, 8,334 votes to 5,611, a margin of 59.7 percent to 40.3 percent to win office. His starting pay was $76,013 per year.
Maher is a 20-year U.S. Navy veteran who worked in financial and facilities management. He was briefly an auditor for the State of Nevada. Maher has a Master’s degree in business administration from Webster University in St. Louis.
Besides the treasurer’s reports, which inform county commissioners of fund balances, the treasurer holds occasional tax sales to sell properties seized for taxes, which are typically in the spring. The treasurer’s sale is planned as scheduled in early May.