Ex-state auditor Sonntag settles in as Rescue Mission CEO; also joins libertarian think tank

Posted by Brad Shannon on July 26, 2013 

Brian Sonntag and his wife Jann at Rescue Mission in January / file photo

LUI KIT WONG / THE NEWS TRIBUNE

Former state auditor Brian Sonntag left office in January and soon after joined the Rescue Mission in Tacoma as chief of finance. In early July he was named interim executive director after the group’s chief executive, David Curry, left “abruptly” for a California charity job, and now it looks like he may be in that role for quite a while.

A nationwide search for a new executive hasn’t started and Sonntag said Friday he could be in the top role another year or two. The Christian-based nonprofit caters to the homeless and hungry by providing shelter and meals in six Pierce County locations as well as education and youth programs programs, and Sonntag said it can do more to trim its overhead costs.

He said there are other things he can do to help the administration. “I’m committed to doing that as long as the board needs me to do it. I’m not sure I want to do it 3 or 4 years,’’ he said.

Sonntag, a conservative Democrat, also joined the board this month of an Olympia-based libertarian group, the Freedom Foundation. He became the group’s senior fellow for government accountability, foundation chief executive Jonathan Bechtle said in a news release Friday. 

Bechtle noted that Sonntag and the foundation had common ground in supporting performance audits for state government.

Sonntag also was named in April to the National Freedom of Information Center’s state government hall of fame.

The 20-year ex-auditor said his foundation role will mainly be to advocate for open government and citizenship and does not mean he’s embraced the policy views of the Freedom Foundation. He expects to be involved a couple of days a month doing two things.

“One would be to talking to community groups and organizations and encouraging them to be involved and attend public meetings, to ask for public records and be participants in their government,’’ Sonntag said. The other is to work with elected officials to encourage open government.

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