MANATEE -- The former chief accountant for Baltimore has been named finance director of the School District of Manatee County.
Rebecca Roberts, 51, replaces Tommy Crosby, who resigned in January, according to Manatee Schools Superintendent Rick Mills. Roberts' annual salary will be $95,500, according to school district records.
Crosby, who left Manatee County to become director of Alachua County's Office of Management and Budget, earned $95,092.
Roberts takes over the fi
nancial reins of the school district as it projects a positive operating budget by June after operating under a deficit the past few years.
Roberts, who handled Baltimore's overall financial accounting operations from 2010 until she left April 4, will report directly to Michael Boyer, school district chief financial officer.
"We are grateful to have someone with Rebecca's knowledge and experience joining our leadership team," Mills said. "She is a great addition and will strengthen our control of the district's finances."
According to Roberts' resume, from 2010 she was responsible for directing the overall financial accounting operations of the city of Baltimore, including financial reporting, grants management, capital projects, fixed assets, real and personal property, cash receipts and revenue control functions.
The Baltimore Sun published a story April 13 reporting a September study found Baltimore "city agencies couldn't account for as much as $40 million in grant money that Baltimore received over the last several years from state, federal and other sources."
The September report "blamed poor budgeting and oversight, outdated policies and inconsistent accounting procedures," the Sun reported.
As a result, the Sun reported, Baltimore finance officials will overhaul city policies, train staff and keep records in a centralized database.
Henry Raymond, deputy finance director for Baltimore, confirmed Roberts' employment but declined to comment on her work.
Steve Valley, a School District of Manatee spokesman, said Roberts resigned from her Baltimore job to move closer to family in Florida.
"The reason Rebecca left Baltimore was that she always wanted to relocate to Florida," Valley added. "She has family in Brooksville and St. Petersburg and lived in Orlando from 1997 to 1998 and in Miami in 2001. So when this job became available, it was something she was qualified for and submitted her application."
Valley said Roberts participated in a rigorous interview process in Manatee County.
"Rebecca Roberts is very qualified," Valley said.
"She was hired because she is fully qualified to do the job."
Roberts lists her key skills as strategic planning, general ledger management, policy development and implementation, fixed asset management, forecasting, financial analysis regulatory compliance, budget management, payroll and financial reporting.
Robert's background, according to her resume, also includes a position as director of financial reporting and accounting compliance at ASARCO LLC in Tucson, Ariz., from 2008 to 2010, and a term as vice president of operations/controller for Lancaster Foods LLC, in Jessup, Md., from 2006 to 2008.
Richard Dymond, Herald reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7072 or contact him via Twitter @RichardDymond.