Bexley auditor Larry Heiser has been hired as Johnstown's finance director.

Bexley auditor Larry Heiser has been hired as Johnstown's finance director.

Johnstown Village Council approved a resolution Oct. 20 appointing Heiser to the position contingent upon successful completion of a background check.

Heiser told ThisWeek on Monday that even though he has started his new job, he plans to complete his term in Bexley to work on the 2010 budget.

Johnstown village manager Judy Edwards is aware of his commitment to Bexley, Heiser said.

"Tax season doesn't start until January," he said. "This is usually a slow time for me. This works out well. There is a lot to do here."

Heiser had been planning to run for another four-year term as Bexley auditor, but the Franklin County Board of Elections rejected his petitions for failing to sign a form relating to the gathering of his signatures.

Heiser said the "timing was just right" to take the new position with his tenure as Bexley auditor expiring at the end of December.

He may move to the Johnstown area, pending the outcome of his six-month probationary period, he said.

"For now, I'll make the commute," he said.

Heiser is earning the same salary as former Johnstown finance director Sandra Berry, who was being paid $27.68 an hour.

Berry was fired Aug. 25 for "just cause" and an investigation continues in that matter, according to Mayor Kevin Riffe.

Edwards said Johnstown council and the village staff are "thrilled" to have Heiser come on board.

"The position has been vacant for nearly two months and we are so pleased to have someone with Larry's background on board," she said. "Like many of the candidates, Larry has a bachelor's of accounting, but unlike most candidates he is a certified public accountant and has extensive state and local government experience."

ThisWeek staff writer Tara Stubbs-Figurski contributed to this story.