Biography

As a Certified Public Accountant and Certified Financial Planner, John Moorlach began his career in public service 20 years ago when he warned that then Orange County Treasurer-Tax Collector Robert Citron’s risky investment strategies would lead to bankruptcy.  Moorlach’s warnings proved true when Orange County filed for bankruptcy protection in December of 1994, becoming the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history.

In the aftermath, the Board of Supervisors appointed John Moorlach to serve out the term of County Treasurer-Tax Collector, where he took immediate steps to reorganize county finances, cut losses, lessen risk, and create efficiencies within government.

Moorlach became well known nationally for his bold and effective steps in recovering the county’s financial outlook, as well as for his drive for greater transparency in government financial operations.

John Moorlach was twice re-elected to County Treasurer-Tax Collector. In 2006, voters elected John to serve in his first of two terms on the Board of Supervisors, where he continued his focus on reforming the county’s budget practices and sounding the alarm on the county’s growing unfunded liabilities.

As Supervisor, John Moorlach served on Orange County’s most prominent boards, commissions, and committees, including:

  • Orange County Transportation Authority
  • Orange County Vector Control District
  • Orange County Local Agency Formation Commission
  • Orange County Criminal Justice Coordinating Council
  • Orange County Juvenile Justice Coordinating Council
  • Orange County Ending Homelessness Commission (Chairman)
  • Newport Bay Watershed Executive Committee (Chairman)
  • Children and Families Commission of Orange County (alternate)
  • National Association of Counties
  • Orange County Council of Governments (alternate)
  • Southern California Association of Governments (alternate)
  • California State Association of Counties Board of Directors, including its Executive Committee and was the Chair of the Urban Counties Caucus (representing the most populated counties in California)

Prior to serving as Orange County Treasurer-Tax Collector, John Moorlach was a Certified Public Accountant, Certified Financial Planner, and Vice President of Balser, Horowitz, Frank & Wakeling, an Accountancy Corporation, and was the administrative partner of its Costa Mesa office.  He served on numerous nonprofit and industry related boards during his eighteen years in public practice and was a frequent writer and speaker on financial topics.

Moorlach is a California history enthusiast and served as Vice President of the Gold Discovery to Statehood California (1848-1850) Sesquicentennial Foundation Board. He has photographed nearly all of the state’s historical landmarks, a program under the auspices of the State Historical Resources Commission. Consequently, he has visited every county in the state, some on numerous occasions, and has enjoyed multiple drives on Highway One, from San Diego County to Crescent City and beyond.

A 1977 graduate from California State University in Long Beach, Moorlach was recognized in 2014 as the CSU Long Beach College of Business Administration Alumnus of the Year.

Moorlach passed the C.P.A. exam in 1978 and completed his studies for the Certified Financial Planner designation in 1987.  He earned a Certificate in Public Finance from the University of Delaware, Division of Continuing Education in 1995, the Certificate of Achievement in Public Plan Policy (CAPPP) in Employee Pensions in 1999 and the Trustees Masters Program in 2003 through the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans, and the New Supervisors Training Institute in 2007 from California State University in Sacramento in cooperation with their Center for California Studies.