Republican Suzanne Crouch became the state auditor on Thursday without the public hoopla that marks most occasions, choosing instead a low-key swearing in with just a couple dozen onlookers.
Crouch is the third person to hold the office – which oversees the state’s payroll and financial transactions – in the past six months. But the former lawmaker from Evansville said she did not feel she was coming into the office under any cloud.
“To me, it’s important that I get in the office and I get started and start working to serve the citizens of Indiana,” Crouch said. “Pomp and ceremony is not nearly as important as doing the job.”
Republican Tim Berry won re-election to a four-year term in the office in 2010 but he resigned in July to become the new chairman of the Indiana Republican Party.
Gov. Mike Pence picked then-Brownsburg Town Councilman Dwayne Sawyer to replace Berry and he was sworn in during a public Statehouse ceremony. But he resigned a few months later citing personal reasons.
Last month, Pence appointed Crouch, who said she plans to run for election to the office next year.
The governor said Crouch decided against a larger event Thursday because she wanted to move quickly into the position.
“Today was really about making sure we had no interruption in the services in the office of auditor of state,” Pence said. “We just concluded that having a ceremony with her here in this office today was the most appropriate way for us to have a seamless transition.”
Crouch is a former county auditor, a former Vanderburgh County commissioner and served in the Indiana House for eight years. She said Thursday that the auditor’s office is one of state government’s most important because it handles so many financial issues.
Crouch said her first goal will be to get to know the staff and the office operations.
“I want to learn what tools they need to be successful, what tools they need to be the very best employees and the very best office in state government,” Crouch said. “That’s my goal. That’s what I’m going to be working on.”