Executive Staff

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.

Jon Grate

Chief of Staff

​​​​Jon Grate returned the Auditor's office in November 2022 after retiring from State Government. Before retiring, he served as General Counsel for the APA, and before that, he served 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 Representatives, 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.

Jane Harper

Deputy Chief of Staff

Harper started in her role as Deputy Chief of Staff for APA in December 2022. Prior to joining Auditor Harmon’s office, Harper spent the last six years serving in the Office of the Secretary for the Justice and Public Safety Cabinet.  Harper also brings 20 years of executive support experience from working for a religious non-profit organization in Louisville.​​

Graham Gray

General Counsel

​​Graham Gray began his state government career with the Kentucky State Police in 2001 and served as an attorney for both KSP and the Justice and Public Safety Cabinet. He obtained his undergraduate degree from the University of Kentucky and his Juris Doctor from L.S.U. He joined the Auditor’s office in February 2022.

Joe Fischer

Deputy General Counsel

Joe Fischer was appointed as APA’s General Counsel in April 2023. Fischer spent 36 years in private corporate law practice and served 24 years as a State Representative for the 68th District in the Kentucky House of Representatives.  During his time in the Kentucky House, Fischer was chairman of the House Judiciary Committee and the Budget Review Subcommittee on Justice and Public Safety. Prior to serving in the House, Fischer spent 11 years on the Fort Thomas City Council. Fischer received his undergraduate degree from Holy Cross College, and his law degree from the University of Cincinnati. He and his wife, Karen, reside in Fort Thomas.​

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.

Jason Johnson

Executive Director of the Office of State Government Audits and Technology

​​Jason Johnson, CFE, CGAP, has spent 27 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.

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.

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.

Noah Wilson

Director of Information Technology

​Noah Wilson has worked for APA since 2021 and started his IT career in state government in 2011, previously working for the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, Commonwealth Office of Technology, and Kentucky Educational Television. Wilson is a graduate of Bluegrass Community and Technical College in Computer Science with Network Option, and he currently holds an active AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate Certification.​

Michael Goins

Director of Communications

​​​Michael Goins has more than 30 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.

Liz Lowe

Director of Audit Support and Quality Assurance Services

​​Liz Lowe, CFE, was appointed as Director of Audit Support and Quality Assurance Services for APA in June 2023. Prior to that, Lowe served for two and a half years as APA’s Quality Assurance Manager. Lowe has worked for APA over 24 years in a variety of roles and worked on several special examinations, including exams of Passport Health Plan, Kentucky’s Retirement Systems, APA’s first special examination of Kentucky State University in 2002, and as the auditor in charge of the special examination of the city of Covington. Lowe is a graduate of Eastern Kentucky University, receiving a BBA with an emphasis on accounting, and earned the Certified Fraud Examination (CFE) credential in 2021.​​

Daniel McQuerry

Executive Assistant

Daniel McQuerry was appointed as an Executive Assistant to the Auditor’s office in December 2022. McQuerry is a 2020 graduate of Boyle County High School, where he served as Chaplain and Treasurer of the Boyle County High School FFA and received the Kentucky FFA Foundation Outstanding Leadership Award. McQuerry also place second in the 2019 Kentucky Lt. Governor’s Entrepreneurship Challenge. Prior to joining APA, McQuerry was a licensed real estate agent.​​