Humboldt County Auditor-Controller Karen Paz Dominguez. | Screenshot from a March 1 Board of Supervisors meeting.


The Humboldt County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously in closed session this morning to meet on Monday, April 4, to consider a censure of Auditor-Controller Karen Paz Dominguez. 

The meeting had barely begun before the board adjourned to closed session to discuss potential litigation. The threat of legal action came via a Nov. 3 letter from a group of anonymous department heads, deputy directors, a division director and an untold number of other employees, all of whom expressed concerns about a “severe” and “looming” fiscal crisis allegedly caused by “failures and financial missteps” from Paz Dominguez.

Before heading into closed session, Board Chair Virginia Bass asked County Counsel Jefferson Billingsley for an estimate of how long the board should expect to be behind closed doors discussing the matter. She lightly scoffed when he said 15 to 20 minutes, and sure enough, they were in closed session for close to an hour.

With the board having already passed a vote of “no confidence” in Paz Dominguez back in November, it’s not clear what impact an official board censure would have beyond yet another symbolic expression of their disapproval. The Outpost will follow up with staff to see if they can offer any clarity on the process and implications.


UPDATE, 4:09 p.m.: The board authorized the release of a report written by county counsel that reveals the findings of an independent investigation into Paz Dominguez. Read more here.