State Sen. Glenn Hegar, a Katy Republican who will be sworn in as comptroller in January, plans to replace much of the office’s top management with people from his campaign and Senate office, as well as through promoting longtime comptroller staffers.
The staff moves include replacing Chief Revenue Estimator John Heleman with Tom Currah, currently manager of the office’s data analysis division. Heleman will stay on as senior adviser for fiscal research.
The position is one of the highest-profile jobs at the comptroller’s office and will be under a particularly bright spotlight in January, when Hegar is expected to announce the revenue estimate for the next legislative session. The estimate guides the creation of the two-year budget that lawmakers will have to approve during the session. Combs received criticism for her 2011 revenue estimates, which was off by more than $10 billion.
“The appointment of these highly-qualified individuals will move the Comptroller’s office into the 21st Century and together we will work to make state government more efficient, eliminate wasteful spending, and put more money back into the pockets of taxpayers,” Hegar said in a statement announcing 11 hires.
Hegar also announced plans to replace current Deputy Comptroller Martin Hubert with Mike Reissig, who is currently associate deputy comptroller and has previously served as chief revenue estimator.
Two key roles at the office will not come from veterans of the comptroller's office. Lisa Craven, the chief of staff in Hegar’s Senate office, will take the same position at the comptroller's office. Liz White, political director on Hegar’s campaign, will serve as Hegar’s senior strategy officer.