Jefferson County hires new finance director


CHARLES TOWN — The Jefferson County Commission has selected Richard C. Thiel, Jr. in a unanimous vote to serve as the county’s next finance director.

In a special meeting on Jan. 25, the commissioners selected Thiel from a field of candidates. Thiel comes on board with a base salary of $97,000.

Thiel replaces Michelle Gordon, who resigned from her position with the county just two months after County Administrator Stephanie Grove reached a separation agreement with the county.

Gordon was the topic of controversy after a local watchdog group, Jefferson County Perspective, brought to light that she had left her previous position with the City of Hagerstown after allegedly misusing city funds.

Gordon was hired by the Jefferson County Commission on a part-time basis, after her resignation, to assist with the upcoming budget process. It has not been clarified whether or not Gordon will continue to be employed in the part-time position after Thiel’s hire.

Thiel brings more than 30 years of finance experience to Jefferson County, much of which he gained as an employee with General Electric Company. Most recently at GE, his responsibilities included the financial management and oversight of GE’s global operations properties at GE’s headquarters in Fairfield, Connecticut. Before that he served as finance manager GE Global Technology and Growth in Albany, New York. Thiel’s career includes 15 years at GE Capital in several senior-level asset financing roles.

A graduate of Muhlenberg College and Wake Forest University, Theil also holds a certified six sigma quality greenbelt designation and is a graduate of General Electric’s financial management program.

Originally from Vienna, Va., Thiel plans to relocate from his current home in Seaside, N.J.

His duties with Jefferson County will include the oversight of day-to-day financial operations. including coordinating and supervising the county’s financial planning (both short and long term), accounting, auditing and capital planning, as well as serving as a liaison between the commissioners, the assessor, the sheriff’s tax office, the county clerk and others involved in the fiscal operation of Jefferson County.

Thiel’s first day on the job was Jan. 26.

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