- Associated Press - Thursday, May 1, 2014

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - A North Carolina native who once served as controller of the United States has been named to a similar job in state government.

Gov. Pat McCrory announced Thursday he’s appointed Linda Morrison Combs as state controller. Combs will succeed David McCoy, who retired at the end of March following a state government career that included jobs as budget director and transportation secretary.

The state controller keeps the state’s books, monitors cash flow and manages state payroll. The controller serves seven-year terms and is subject to General Assembly confirmation.

McCrory’s office said Combs has been confirmed five times by the U.S. Senate for federal posts. She was controller in President George W. Bush’s administration before retiring in 2007. She also served as chief financial officer at the Environmental Protection Agency and held administrative posts in four other Cabinet departments.

Combs, who starts the job Monday, “brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the Controller’s Office, as well as a love for her native North Carolina,” McCrory said in a release. “Her considerable expertise will greatly benefit the state’s taxpayers.”

Combs was born in Caldwell County, has two degrees from Appalachian State University and lives in Winston-Salem. She worked on McCrory’s gubernatorial transition team after his November 2012 re-election.

The state controller, which has been in place since the 1980s, is considered an independent position at arm’s lengths from the state’s fiscal decision-makers.

As U.S. controller, McCrory’s office said, Combs regularly briefed Bush on financial matters and helped save the U.S. government billions of dollars. Her working career also included banking and starting three successful companies, the release said.

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