CEO Wants More Control Over Public Administrator/Guardian

Jennifer Muir working the County Government Beat at the OC Register has this story regarding the ongoing difficulties with the Public Administrator/Guardian for Orange County.

John Williams

John Williams

The county’s top executive wants to seize oversight of the public guardian’s office, essentially reducing the authority of the county’s elected Public Administrator John Williams (pictured left).Mauk wants supervisors to repeal that ordinance, returning the Public Guardian job to an appointed position– a position that reports to him.


The recommendation comes months after a grand jury issued two scathing reports about Williams and the public administrator/public guardian office.They accuse Williams of doubling his management budget, breaking personnel rules and squandering a trustee’s estate. (You can read about those reports  here and here).

Williams has refuted the findings, saying the grand jury just didn’t understand some of the complicated information he handed over and that their reports contain factual errors.

The county concedes that Williams has corrected or explained many of the grand jury allegations, but still contends “there is more to be done,” according to a staff report from CEO Tom Mauk’s office.

The PA/PG offices face budget challenges and have missed deadlines during an information technology replacement project, the report says. Mauk wants more control to provide “better oversight and increased assurance of timely success.”

Read Jennifer’s complete story here: County CEO: Reduce authority of elected official.