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Tacoma: Budget officer’s sudden death stuns City Hall

Post by Lewis Kamb / The News Tribune on May 2, 2012 at 11:54 am |
May 2, 2012 11:54 am

Laura McPherson, the City of Tacoma’s budget officer for more than a year, died unexpectedly earlier this week.

The 42-year-old’s sudden death before the workday Monday morning sent shock waves through City Hall. The City Council dedicated a moment of silence to McPherson at Tuesday’s meeting.

“Since she joined the city, she served a critical role in helping us work through our current budget challenges,” Mayor Marilyn Strickland said from the dais Tuesday. “We will miss her and our hearts go out to her family and her loved ones at this difficult time.”

McPherson, a married Lakewood resident, had worked as the city’s budget officer since December 2010 after a nearly 22-year career for the State of Washington. Her final assignment for the state was as Chief Financial Officer for Washington’s military department, according to her Linkedin page.

McPherson graduated from the University of Washington in 2008 with a Master’s of Public Administration, and from Saint Martin’s College in 1998 with a bachelor’s degree in business.

The Pierce County Medical Examiner’s Office reported today the cause and manner of McPherson’s death remain pending until toxicology and tissue tests are completed.

“Obviously, it’s a big loss for the city,” city spokesman Rob McNair-Huff said today. “It’s been a tough week.”

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