County auditor employee Boothe fired after 39 years

Franklin County Auditor Matt Beaton started his first week by firing a longtime county employee.

Sue Boothe, the auditor's administrative assistant, was dismissed. She has worked in the auditor's office for 39 years.

Beaton, who defeated 21-year auditor Zona Lenhart in the Nov. 2 general election, declined to comment on the specifics of his decision, but said staffing changes are a part of change.

Beaton ran on "choice, change and accountability." He said part of the change he talked to voters about was electing him as the auditor, and part of it was the changes he would make.

"Difficult choices have to be made," he said. He added that he has been meeting with office staff.

"They are all very professional and excited about the issues that we are talking about," he said.

Boothe, 61, said she was disappointed to be fired Tuesday, Beaton's second day on the job, after Beaton had told her in December that he wasn't planning any staffing changes.

She said she asked because she and other employees were concerned about the possibility.

Boothe said she was an at-will employee and isn't represented by a union. As of Jan. 18, she no longer will be a county employee.

"He is the new boss," she said.

Boothe said she feels like she didn't even get the opportunity to work with Beaton. She had worked with four auditors during her time at the office.

"I can work with anybody," she said.