Snow covers the park in front of the State House in Augusta on Wednesday, Dec. 29, 2021. Credit: Troy R. Bennett / BDN

AUGUSTA, Maine – A longtime employee in Maine’s state auditing office will be its leader for the rest of the year.

Senate President Troy Jackson, D-Allagash, announced Tuesday that he picked Jacob Norton to serve as state auditor, a position responsible for oversight of public spending. He will fill the remainder of the term vacated by Matt Dunlap, who stepped down from the position after failing to achieve the required certification.

Dunlap, also the former secretary of state and a former legislator from Old Town, was elected auditor by the Legislature in December 2020 despite lacking a background in finance or auditing. Under state law, he had nine months to pass state licensing exams, but he informed Jackson this fall that he failed two necessary exams and would not be able to complete his certification in the required window.

Norton, who has a bachelor’s degree in accounting and a master’s in business administration from Thomas College, has worked in the state auditor’s office for 13 years, most recently as principal auditor. He will serve in the position into December, when the Legislature will again select a new auditor.