CHICAGO -- Tariq Malhance is stepping down this week as chief financial officer of Cook County, Ill.

Deputy CFO Ivan Samstein is expected to take over as CFO of the nation’s second most populous county later this month.

Samstein, a former public finance banker and credit analyst who joined the county in March 2012, will take over as acting CFO starting next week, a county spokesman confirmed.

County President Toni Preckwinkle has nominated Samstein for the permanent position, and the full county board is scheduled to vote on the appointment March 20.

Malhance, a former Chicago comptroller, has been the county’s CFO since early 2011 when he joined the then-new Preckwinkle administration.

Malhance has worked in public finance for more than 25 years. He was Chicago comptroller from 2002 to 2005 before taking a position as senior vice president of private equity at Unicorn Investment Bank.

It’s not certain whether he will retire or has a new job. He was not available Thursday for comment.

Before he joined the county, Samstein was a Chicago-based banker with Bank of America Merrill Lynch. He was cut by the firm in September 2011 as part of the bank’s widespread layoffs.

Samstein also worked as a public finance credit analyst at Moody’s Investors Service from 1999 to 2004. He was lead analyst for local government debt issuance in Illinois, Wisconsin, and Missouri.

“Tariq’s leadership will be missed in the bureau of finance and throughout Cook County government,” Samstein said in an email to The Bond Buyer. “He played a key role in bringing fiscal responsibility to the county, and I hope to have the opportunity to continue this week as we continue to improve the county’s long-term financial position.”

Malhance’s departure comes four months after Preckwinkle hired a new chief of staff, G.A. Finch. Finch was a partner with Hoogendoorn & Talbot LLP, and served as Chicago Deputy Planning Commissioner for former Mayor Harold Washington and as general counsel for the Chicago Housing Authority.

Finch replaced Kurt Summers, who moved to Grosvenor Capital Management LP as senior vice president.

Cook has roughly $3.8 billion of outstanding general obligation debt.

Moody’s Investors Service rates the GO debt Aa3 and Fitch Ratings rates it AA-minus. Both rating agencies maintain negative outlooks on the county.

Standard & Poor’s rates the county AA with a stable outlook.

"During Tariq's time here he solved more than $1 billion in budget deficits and put the county on a stable financial path," said a county spokesman. "The president wishes him well."

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