County Appoints 2 New Execs

Santa Clara County shuffled some of its top brass, promoting a pair of deputy executives two months after appointing Emily Harrison as permanent chief financial officer.

James Williams, 30, who played an instrumental role in helping phase out redevelopment agencies in the county, will step up as deputy county executive. More than two years ago, the Stanford law grad delivered oral arguments before the California Supreme Court in a case that led to the statewide dissolution of more than 400 redevelopment agencies.

In 2012, County Executive Jeff Smith appointed Williams to serve as his special assistant to help with the dissolution of RDA, which involved a number of oversight boards, audits and legislative efforts. Williams was promoted in 2013 to focus on other special projects in finance, the Valley Health Plan and public safety.

In his new role, Williams will earn $182,000 a year and coordinate procurement, contracting, emergency dispatch, fire, housing and the Board of Supervisors’ Finance and Government Operations Committee.

Williams takes over the spot left by Harrison, who was hired as permanent chief financial officer in March. Harrison was interim CFO after the county demoted Vinod Sharma for lax oversight that enabled ex-Supervisor George Shirakawa Jr. to pilfer public money by abusing his expense card.

Filling in Williams’ old post is John Mills, who previously served as chief of staff to Supervisor Ken Yeager. Next week Mills will begin in his role as deputy county executive, where he will be in charge of legislative affairs, intergovernmental relations, public safety, human relations and the registrar’s office. Mills, 39, will make $180,000 a year in his new role.

Jennifer Wadsworth is the news editor for San Jose Inside and Metro Silicon Valley. Email tips to [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter at @jennwadsworth.

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