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 Executive Staff

Email: Farrah Petter


Assistant State Auditor
Farrah Petter, CPA was appointed by Auditor Harmon as Assistant State Auditor in December 2018. She began her career at the Auditor of Public Accounts after graduating from Eastern Kentucky University in 1999. During her first six years at the APA, Farrah worked on state agency audits including the CAFR and supervised the audit of Louisville Metro. In 2004, she attained her CPA license. She then transferred to work as a county auditor and completed audits of local governments and special examinations in Central Kentucky. In 2013, Farrah became a county audit manager overseeing 25 counties in Southeast Kentucky. In that position, she managed local government audits as well as special examinations. In addition, Farrah has conducted trainings for both APA staff and local officials.



Email: Sara Beth Gregory


Chief of Staff
Sara Beth Gregory joined the Auditor’s office after working eight years as an attorney with Carroll & Turner, P.S.C. in Monticello. She previously served in public office, having been first elected as State Representative for the 52nd District in 2010 and winning re-election in 2012. She later won a special election to the open 16th District State Senate Seat and served until 2014. Gregory, a graduate of the University of Kentucky and the UK College of Law, also served as a law clerk for Senior Judge Eugene E. Siler, Jr., with the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.


Email: James Royse


Executive Director of the Office of Local Government Audits
James Royse, CFE, began his state government career with the Auditor of Public Accounts in 1994. His past positons at the APA include Deputy Executive Director of Financial Audits, Audit Manager and financial auditor. James graduated from the University of Kentucky with a bachelor’s degree in accounting.



Email: Jason Johnson


Executive Director of the Office of State Government Audits and Technology
Jason Johnson, CFE, CGAP, has spent 25 years with the Auditor of Public Accounts. Prior to the appointment to his current position, Jason was an Executive Director of the Office of Technology and Special audits. He previously served as a Deputy Executive Director and as an Audit Manager in the Office of Financial Audits. Jason graduated from Eastern Kentucky University with a bachelor’s degree in business administration with an emphasis in accounting.



Email: Tiffany Welch


Executive Director of the Office of Special Examinations
Tiffany Welch, CFE, has been with the Auditor of Public Accounts for over 21 years. Prior to her appointment, Tiffany served as Deputy Executive Director of the Office of Technology and Special Audits and as Performance and Special Examination Branch Manager. During her two decades with APA, Welch has worked on numerous examinations involving cities, school districts, Special Purpose Government Entities, and quasi-government agencies like airports and fire districts. Welch earned her bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of Kentucky in 1996, and earned her Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE) certification in 2003.


Email: Carlos Felix


Director of Information Technology
Carlos Felix works with the APA IT Department to ensure that auditors have the IT resources they need to identify and eliminate risks to public resources, thus protecting the taxpayers' interest in our government. Carlos previously led the Enterprise Storage Team at the Commonwealth Office of Technology, and has served the Commonwealth in various IT roles for over 16 years. He is a graduate of Kentucky State University with a BS in Computer Science.


Email: Michael Goins


Director of Communications
Michael Goins has more than 27 years of communications experience, including serving as the Communications Director for the Kentucky House Republican Caucus prior to joining Auditor Harmon's staff. Goins also served as Deputy Communications Director for Governor Ernie Fletcher, and held senior communications positions in the Transportation and Education Cabinets, and the Office of the State Budget Director. He is also a former award-winning television news reporter, covering issues for WSAZ-TV in Huntington, West Virginia, and as Big Sandy Bureau Chief for WYMT-TV in Hazard. Goins is a graduate of Eastern Kentucky University.


Email: Tim Gutman


Director of Financial Operations
Tim Gutman graduated from the University of Kentucky with a degree in Accounting and a minor in Economics, and has more than 20 years of government auditing experience. He has worked as a financial auditor and auditor in charge over local government audits in northern and central Kentucky and has assisted in the completion of other audits, such as the state’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report and the Statewide Single Audit of Kentucky. In addition, Tim has served as an administrator over the agency’s TIPS program for reporting fraud and abuse, and worked as an administrator over the agency’s auditing software where he has trained audit staff. He has also served as the agency liaison for contracts with CPA firms and has worked in quality assurance reviewing and processing local government audits.


Email: Jonathan Grate


General Counsel
Jon Grate joined the Auditor’s office in January 2020, after serving four years as the Deputy Secretary of the Justice and Public Safety Cabinet, where he also concurrently served at different times as the acting commissioner of the departments of Corrections, Juvenile Justice, and Criminal Justice Training. Previous to that, he served as the lead counsel to the Judiciary Committees of both the Kentucky Senate and House of Representative, providing legislative drafting and legal research assistance to all members of the General Assembly on criminal and civil jurisprudence issues and topics. He obtained both his Juris Doctor and undergraduate degrees from the University of Kentucky. He and his wife Jennifer, now empty nesters, reside in Woodford County.


Email: Heather Combs


Executive Assistant to the Chief of Staff, and Executive Assistant to the General Counsel
Heather Wells Combs brings twelve years of experience in serving the Commonwealth in various roles, including most recently Executive Director of the Kentucky Office of Occupations and Professions and Legislative Director and Policy Advisor at the Kentucky Public Protection Cabinet. She began her public service career in constituent services within Kentucky’s 6th Congressional District Office. Combs is a graduate of the University of Kentucky. She and her husband, Shannon, reside with their family in Madison County.


Email: Alta Renfro


Assistant to Auditor Harmon
Before coming to work for the Auditor’s office, Alta Renfro served as a Legislative Assistant in the Kentucky Legislative Research Commission (LRC) and has also served as an assistant in the insurance agency. Before starting her career Renfro spent several years working on her family’s farm.