Wichita Co. officials react to county auditor retirement

Local News

WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL)— The Wichita County auditor’s office will soon have a new person in charge after Deborah Stevens has officially put in her resignation.

Wichita County Judge Woody Gossom and Precinct 4 County Commissioner Jeff Watts said she’s done well above her job description in her more than 25-year tenure.

“We’re glad for her and a little sad for us,” Gossom said.

Gossom has known Stevens for nearly 30 years.

“The hours she works and put in, I’m not sure she’s going to know what to do with herself during retirement, but we’ve been fortunate to have someone of her academic and professional standard, as far as I know, she’s probably the first person that was a [Certified Public Accountant] CPA,” Gossom said.

However, Stevens is no longer a CPA.

“She had conflicts and didn’t get her hours to continue her CPA license,” Gossom said. “It’s not a requirement of her job.”

Watts said many items she invested her time in also aren’t a requirement of her job.

“Not only do they handle the finance of the county and all of the different accounts that the county operates out of but they also handle the benefits program, the county health insurance, they do our payroll, that’s normally not a function of the auditor’s office,” Watts said.

Gossom said Stevens brought Wichita County from a qualified audit to unqualified. Which might sound bad, but it is exactly the opposite.

“She helped us with the bonds for both MPEC and for the new county jail, we were able to get better ratings because we had a sound financial system and be able to show where our money was, how we spent, what kind of obligations we had,” Gossom said.

Stevens is expecting her first grandchild soon and wants to focus on that time in her life.

“There is higher callings than what we do for work every day,” Watts said.

Gossom and Watts are excited for Stevens and believe the county will be left in good hands once her last day officially arrives.

District judges will appoint the next auditor.

Gossom said the district judges informally said they’re going to look for a CPA and maybe make that a requirement.

Stevens’ Chief Deputy Judy Mallone is retiring this month as well.

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