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The Public Officials of the Year awards have become the nation’s preeminent honor for state and local officials across the nation
FRANKFORT, KY (10-26-09) State Auditor Crit Luallen has been named a 2009 “Public Official of the Year” by Washington D.C. magazine Governing for her positive impact on government in Kentucky.
“Crit Luallen, Kentucky’s auditor of public accounts, has successfully fought corruption and fiscal mismanagement, the capstone to her 35-year career as a versatile problem-solver in state government,” according to the magazine.
Every year since 1994, Governing Magazine has honored individual state and local government officials for outstanding accomplishment by naming them Public Officials of the Year. Recipients include elected, appointed and career officials from every branch of state or local government.
“This is truly an honor and quite a pleasant surprise. I believe in the value of public service and I have worked to build a record of integrity and competence throughout my career,” Luallen said. “But I am also fortunate to have had some wonderful people around me who contributed to any successes I have had.”
Luallen’s service began in 1974 as a campaign staff member to Wendell Ford. She served nearly seven years as Secretary of the Governor’s Executive Cabinet, a position similar to chief operating officer. In this position, Luallen was the chief operating officer of Kentucky, with responsibility for more than 35,000 full-time employees and a budget of $17 billion.
Luallen also served as State Budget Director, Secretary of the Finance and Administration Cabinet, Secretary of the Kentucky Tourism Cabinet, Commissioner of the Kentucky Department of the Arts, and Special Assistant to the Governor. She also spent four years in Louisville and served as President of the Greater Louisville Economic Development Partnership, a regional economic development agency.
Governing annually receives several hundred nominations from individuals in the public and private sectors. In addition, Governing staff consults experts and scholars in the field and also nominates outstanding individuals they encounter in the course of their work. Nominations are evaluated by a selection committee, which, after much research, chooses the winners.
Luallen was nominated by colleagues in the public sector.
The award winners are profiled in the November issue of Governing and will be honored at a dinner Nov. 19 in Washington, D.C.
The 2009 recipients include: Luallen, Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley; Steve Jennings, the chief information officer of Harris County, Texas; Youngstown, Ohio Mayor Jay Williams; Pete Rahn, director of the Missouri Department of Transportation; Washington Secretary of State Sam Reed; Phyllis Kahn, a Minnesota state representative; and Steve Hewitt, the city administrator of Greensburg, Kansas.
“These public officials have thrived in the face of remarkable challenges,” said Alan Ehrenhalt, Governing’s editor. “Whether they were responding to a natural disaster, confronting a city’s economic decline or managing a disputed election, these eight leaders have displayed poise, wisdom and ingenuity. Today, with every government grappling with the effects of a prolonged recession, their examples prove that strong, smart leadership is possible in the most difficult of circumstances.”
Since their inception, the Public Officials of the Year awards have become the nation’s preeminent honor for state and local officials. The awards are regularly cited by journalists, governmental leaders and the winners themselves.
Governing is an independent national magazine devoted to coverage of state and local government. It has a circulation of 85,000 state and local officials.
Editor’s note: A copy of Luallen's Governing Magazine article can be found at the Auditor's Office website: www.auditor.ky.gov.
Governing contact: Elder Witt, deputy publisher, general manager and conference chair, 202-862-1432 or email@example.com