Finance Director Karen Aceves resigns from City post

Story by Sofia Alva
Staff Writer

Photo by Katelyn Hernandez 
Staff Photographer

South Pasadena Finance Director Karen Aceves announced her resignation effective immediately on Tuesday, Oct. 6. The reasoning for Aceves’ resignation is still unclear, though it comes after City Manager Stephanie DeWolfe left the City a few weeks earlier.

In 2017, the City hired Aceves, who took an indefinite family leave in August, as a Principal Management Analyst and then promoted her to Finance Director in Feb. 2020. She was the fifth person to fill that role in less than three years and the first ever Latina Finance Director to be hired by the City. 

South Pasadena appointed Interim Assistant City Manager Elaine Aguilar to fill Aceves’ position while she was on leave, but now must find a new Finance Director while it also searches for a City Manager.

During her tenure, Aceves was part of the City Finance Department that completely digitized the payroll system and trained a new group of employees last year. Aceves also took over the finance department right when the City was hit with the economic downfall brought on by the coronavirus pandemic. Recently, some community members have criticized Aceves for inconsistencies in the 2020-2021 fiscal year city budget and late audits.

The City is still in the process of revising and adopting a 2020-2021 budget after a proposed one was voted down by the City Council in June.

This is an ongoing story and more details will be added as they emerge.

3 Replies to “Finance Director Karen Aceves resigns from City post”

  1. AJ Simon D

    The City Manager resigns and the same day the inexperience Finance Manage goes on leave in the middle of an audit and budget. Coincidence?
    I wonder how many people Karen threw under the bus to get this job that she was clearly unqualified for.
    I wonder how may lawsuits and settlements will be paid for staff that was wrongfully terminated and retaliated against.
    I wonder how many consultants and tax payer’s money wasted to hire consultant to do Karen’s routine work and now to clean it up.
    The name fits her too – those damn Karens.

  2. D Fox

    GOOD RIDDANCE! Karen Aceves Nunez had no business serving as the City’s Finance Director. She was an intern in 2016, leveraged here employers with other “pending” job offers to give her a raise and new title, lies about her resume and experience, will suck up to managers and stakeholders in order to move up while throwing other staff under the bus. I hope this is a lesson learned and no local government every hires her as she has shown to be untrustworthy, unreliable by going on family during an audit and budget, and lacking of the experience for government. She grew up in Pasadena and surrounding San Gabriel area (Azusa), so I am sure we will hear from her again, but hopefully not in a management-leadership role at one of our fine cities and preferably only at Nordstroms or Car Dealership.

  3. Margaret L

    She is the worst – brown noser sycophant that is neither qualified (experience and education) and has done this throughout her short career to move up. She was an intern at SCAG in 2016 and now a Finance Director. The cities (South Pasadena and El Monte) should be doing their homework before even considering these type of applicants.

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