Scott McCarty, chief financial officer for Surprise and a former candidate for the city manager post there, said last week he has wrongfully identified himself as a certified public accountant while working for Surprise and the city of Scottsdale.

McCarty sent a letter to the State Board of Accountancy that he used the title five times in his official capacity after his CPA license was suspended in October 2003 for non-registration. The license expired in 2004.

McCarty said the Arizona license expired while he was working in Washington State and did not intend at that time to move back to Arizona. He maintains a current CPA license in Washington.

“I deeply regret the position this situation has put me and my family in as well as the city of Surprise,” McCarty said in his letter. “I have committed my 21-plus year career to the public sector and never intended to put myself in this situation.”

The accountancy board said each false claim of being a CPA is a misdemeanor violation.

An investigation by Surprise officials found no violation of city policy. City officials praised McCarty’s job performance.

In his letter, McCarty said he was completing a required continuing education course and will apply soon for reinstatement as a CPA.

Surprise’s general obligation debt is rated AA by Standard & Poor’s and Fitch Ratings.

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