Frank O'Leary

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Frank O’Leary
Frank O'Leary, Treasurer (Ret.), Arlington County
Treasurer (Ret.), Arlington County, Virginia
Assumed office
January 1984
Preceded by Bennie L. Fletcher, Jr. (R)
Personal details
Born (1943-07-02)July 2, 1943
New York, New York
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Linda Banigan
Residence Arlington, Virginia
Alma mater Georgetown University

Francis X. (Frank) O’Leary (born 1943) was the elected Treasurer of Arlington County, Virginia and a member of the Democratic Party from January, 1983 - July, 2014. He began his eighth term as treasurer in January, 2012 and retired in July, 2014. During his tenure, he lowered the County's tax delinquency rate from a high of more than nine percent in 1982 to an all-time low of less than one half of one percent in 2013. This represents the lowest tax delinquency rate in Arlington history and currently the lowest in the Commonwealth of Virginia. The effect of this lower rate has been to increase County revenue by approximately $142,000,000.[1][2]


O’Leary was born in 1943. As the son of a career Army officer, O’Leary moved with his family to many different states during his childhood. He graduated from Frankfurt American High School, while living with his family overseas in Frankfurt, Germany. O’Leary attended the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service and graduated in 1966 with a Bachelor of Science Foreign Service (BSFS) degree with a major in economic theory. In 1966, O’Leary received a State Department appointment as a Foreign Service Officer. He also served as a reserve officer of artillery in the New Jersey National Guard from 1963 to 1968. He completed the course work for a master's degree in economic theory from Georgetown University in 1967. Immediately prior to being elected the Treasurer of Arlington County, O’Leary served as president of NOVA Research Associates, a computer operations firm.[1]

Frank O’Leary is a founding member and the current chairman of the Warren G. Stambaugh Memorial Foundation. The foundation, established in 1991, supports public and private organizations in the Commonwealth of Virginia, through grants and scholarships, which provide assistance to persons with disabilities.[3]

He married Linda Banigan in 1968. They have resided in Arlington since 1969 and have two children.[1]


While serving as treasurer, O’Leary has steadily lowered Arlington’s tax delinquency rate from a high of over nine percent to a historic low of just over one half of one percent in 2011, thereby increasing the County’s revenue by approximately $128,000,000 during the same period.[2][4] In 1991 he received a gubernatorial appointment to the Dillon Rule Commission.[5]

On Wednesday, July 2, 2014, Frank O'Leary announced that he would be retiring as treasurer after 30 years effective Monday, July 7, 2014. The Chief Deputy Treasurer, Carla de la Pava, was then appointed the Arlington County Treasurer and was sworn in on Monday, July 7, 2014 therefore becoming the new Arlington County Treasurer.


During his tenure as treasurer, O’Leary has earned many awards, including the 1988–1989 Treasurer of the Year Award from the Treasurers’ Association of Virginia,[6] the 1990 Award for Excellence in Financial Management from the Government Finance Officers Association,[1] and the 1999 Award for Distinguished Leadership in Financial Management from the Association of Public Treasurers of the United States and Canada.[1] In 2009, his office won the National Association of Counties (NACO) Achievement Award for its Reaching Out to Citizens initiative.[7]

In 2011, O'Leary received his second Award for Excellence from the Government Finance Officers Association in the eGovernment and Technology category [8] and his fifth Excellence in Technology award from the Public Technology Institute (PTI) in the Web and eGovernment category.[1][9] Both awards recognized the Treasurer’s Office for its innovative Assessment and Collection Enterprise (ACE) system, which streamlines the assessment and collection of a number of county receivables.

Innovations to treasury operations[edit]

As treasurer, O’Leary has introduced numerous innovations to the treasury operations of Arlington County, including the Pay at the Bank program in 1984, which allows Arlington tax payers to pay taxes at local bank branches;[10][11] the Pay by Credit Card program, initiated in 1985, which made Arlington the fourth jurisdiction in Virginia to accept credit card payments for taxes;[12][13][14] the Automated Payment System begun in 1987, which allows taxes to be automatically debited from a bank account or charged to a credit card;[15][16] and the Tax Assist Program (later renamed the Taxpayer Assistance Program), begun in 1994, which makes secured loans to taxpayers in need of assistance to pay their taxes on time.[17]

Another notable achievement was the introduction in 1997 of the 1-888-2PAY-TAX program, allowing payment of tax bills over the phone by credit card. Due to its success, this same system was adopted in 1999 by the Internal Revenue Service.[18] Recent innovations and improvements to the Arlington County Treasury operations include the Billpayer Notification program, begun in 2005, which generates an automatic email to taxpayers whenever they incur any form of debt with Arlington County;[19] and the Neighborhood Payment program, begun in 2005, which allows Arlington tax payers to pay tax bills at participating local retailers.[20]

In 1987, O’Leary spearheaded the effort to create the Virginia State Non-Arbitrage Program (SNAP), which allows state and local municipality bond issuers to pool and invest their proceeds. The SNAP program was recognized by the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada with an Award for Excellence in Financial Management in 1990.[21] Looking to the future, O’Leary has authored and led efforts to pass a Federal Debt offset for local governments. Bill H.R. 3060, introduced in June, 2009 by Congressman James P. Moran (VA) to the United States Congress, would allow localities to collect tax debts through the reduction of Federal tax refunds. This program would have the capability of generating between two and three billion dollars, annually, for localities throughout the nation.[22][23][24]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Executive Bios, Arlington County Website
  2. ^ a b Report to the Citizens, 2009-10, pages 22-24; Arlington County publication posted on-line.
  3. ^ Warren G. Stambaugh Memorial Foundation
  4. ^ Coulbourn, Mark, "Arlington Staff Slashes Tax Delinquency Rate", Northern Virginia Sun, August 26, 1987.
  5. ^ French, Yvonne. "O’Leary Named to Dillon Rule Commission", Northern Virginia Sun, December 27, 1991.
  6. ^ "Treasurer of Year’ award to O’Leary", Arlington Courier, July 12, 1989.
  7. ^ National Association of Cities and Counties (NACCO), Reaching Out to Citizens Achievement Award
  8. ^ Government Finance Officers Association, 2011 Awards for Excellence Winners
  9. ^ Public Technology Institute, 2010-2011 Technology Solutions Awards: Winners, Web and eGovernment
  10. ^ Roth, Margaret. "O’Leary floats plan to pay bills at banks", The Arlington Journal, March 22, 1984.
  11. ^ Kole, J. "Arl. Taxes: Made Easy", Northern Virginia Sun, May 17, 1984.,
  12. ^ Baron, Jeff. "County may offer ‘plastic’ pay plan", The Arlington Journal, January 23, 1985.
  13. ^ Siegel, Andrea. "Board eyes credit card tax paying", The Arlington Journal, July 9, 1985.
  14. ^ Stone, Sandy. "Use of Credit Cards Fills Arlington’s Coffers, Northern Virginia Sun, October 12, 1985.
  15. ^ Coulbourn, Mark. "O’Leary Is Unopposed for Arlington Treasurer", Northern Virginia Sun, October 22, 1987
  16. ^ "Pay Arlington County Real Estate Taxes Automatically", Arlington Journal, October 19, 1989.
  17. ^ Farruggia, Joe. "Tax Assist’s new program lightens taxpayers’ burden", Arlington Courier, March 16, 1994.
  18. ^ Daly, Rich. "IRS adopts county’s pioneering charge system for tax payments", The Arlington Journal, August 25, 1998.
  19. ^ "Sign up for Billpayer Notification", The Citizen, July-August 2009.
  20. ^ Mackay, Ellen. "Arlington County Treasurer Kicks-Off "Neighborhood Payment Program,", Arlington County Press Release, September 19, 2005.
  21. ^ Virginia State Non-arbitrage Program (SNAP) website
  22. ^ CivSource, July 13, 2009.
  23. ^ Open Congress website
  24. ^ Sun Gazette Newspapers, July 15, 2009.

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