LOWELL -- The City Council voted unanimously Monday night to re-open the application process to select a new city auditor.

The council approved James Milinazzo's motion to re-start the search after receiving news Sunday that another candidate for the city-auditor position had withdrawn, leaving one finalist.

The council voted to advertise the position for another three weeks and cancel a planned night of interviews Thursday. Councilors also plan to have the position more widely advertised this time.

The position was initially advertised for a month and drew 10 applicants, four of whom were named finalists.

On Sunday, Patrick Zacchini, a certified public accountant from Manalapan, N.J., informed the city he accepted another position and had decided to withdraw his application in Lowell.

Zacchini was the fourth person named a finalist to withdraw. He was not among the original four finalists city councilors selected.

The lone finalist was Dharam Dixit of Lowell.

Dixit is the state Department of Housing and Community Development's director of finance for its division of community services.

Milinazzo asked the city's Human Relations department to reach out to the remaining finalist to encourage Dixit to remain an applicant.

The three previous finalists to withdraw their applications after being named finalists were:

* Elizabeth Pavao, of Malden, director of finance/town accountant in North Reading.


* Irene Larivee, of Nantucket, who has served as director of municipal finance in Nantucket.

* Greg Hammond, a certified public accountant from Maine.

The city auditor is hired by and reports to the City Council. Former Auditor Sheryl Wright retired at the end of February.

Follow Moran on Twitter @lylemoran.