A quaestor (UK: //, US: //) was a public official in Ancient Rome. A quaestor did different jobs at different times in Roman history. In the Roman Kingdom, quaestors were appointed by the king to investigate murders. In the Roman Republic, quaestors supervised the state treasury and conducted audits. It was the lowest ranking position in the public service. Because of this many people wanting to become politicians became quaestors as a first step in their career. In the Roman Empire, quaestors were at first relaced by the praefectus (prefect). Later quaestors became a position appointed by the emperor to lead the imperial council and deal with petitioners.