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Shasta County picks a new CEO after almost a year of searching

One man with short, grey hair wearing a suit in the center looks to the left at two people with the backs to the camera, he's smiling and has a name-tag on his lapel.
David Rickert
David Rickert, center, at a campaign fundraiser during his run for Kane County Board Chair, March 7, 2020.

The county has been without a CEO since June of last year, when Matt Pontes resigned after a political fight with county Board Chair Patrick Jones.

County supervisors have chosen David Rickert to be the new CEO.

Rickert, who has no relation to County Supervisor Mary Rickert, most recently served as the Chief Financial Officer for Winnebago County in Illinois.

According to his employment contract, Rickert’s annual salary would start at $258,600. His contract would be for three years, and could be extended after that.

Shasta has been without a CEO since June of last year, when Matt Pontes resigned after a political fight with county Board Chair Patrick Jones.

The county executive officer is the highest-ranking position in the county. The CEO oversees all other county departments, and carries out policies and goals from the Board of Supervisors. The CEO also prepares and presents the recommended annual budget to supervisors.

Before working for Winnebago County, Rickert was the elected treasurer of Kane County, Illinois, for 22 years. Rickert took the job in Winnebago County after narrowly losing an election for Kane County’s board chair position in November, 2020.

According to the Kane County Chronicle, Rickert faced criticism at the time for holding both his current and previous job at the same time. County board members called for Rickert to resign as Kane County treasurer, for which he still had two years left in his term. Rickert formally resigned on Jan. 3, 2021.

Rickert wasn’t the first choice for Shasta County’s CEO. Last month, the county rescinded a job offer to Chriss Street. Street was publicly criticized for his affiliation with the secessionist movement New California, and for alleged financial mismanagement in his previous job as Orange County treasurer.

Rickert is expected to start his new job in Shasta County on May 30.

Roman Battaglia is a regional reporter for Jefferson Public Radio. After graduating from Oregon State University, Roman came to JPR as part of the Charles Snowden Program for Excellence in Journalism in 2019. He then joined Delaware Public Media as a Report For America fellow before returning to the JPR newsroom.