John S. Williams Steps Down – from College District Board.

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The Orange County Register reported on December 6 that County Public Administrator and Guardian John S. Williams is stepping down from another elective office he has held for 18 years, a member of the Board of Trustees of the South Orange County Community College District.

The office of Public Guardian is appointive, with the County Board of Supervisors deciding who will hold that job. The office of Public Administrator is elective, and Williams was recently re-elected by the voters of Orange County to another term in that office.

According to the Register story, Williams has held the Trustee position for 18 years. His role as an elective (Public Administrator) and appointive (Public Guardian) official has again raised the question of whether a person can hold two elective offices at the same time. This is not a new issue, but it pops up from time to time. Perhaps that is the reason he is leaving the Board of Trustees of the college district.

The Register story also reports that Williams’ Public Guardian activities are under investigation by the Board of Supervisors, with a law firm having been hired by the Board to “investigate allegations that Williams and his agency is unnecessarily taking control of people’s estates to pad his own coffers.” And, according to the story, Williams’ office recently awarded a $ 1.25 million contract to liquidate property controlled by Williams’ office. Tom Fuentes, past Republican Party Orange County Chairman, is associated with the company that received that contract, a contract that did not go before the Board of Supervisors in spite of specific County contracting policy that seems to require contracts of such an amount to come before the Board. It should be noted that Fuentes, in an apparent effort to dispel any perception that good ‘ole boy politics is a work, states he had no economic interest in the firm that received that contract.

Williams has been in the press quite a bit recently, including reports about the recent dismissal of Todd Spitzer from the office of District Attorney. With Spitzer reportedly eyeing the next election for the 3rd district seat on the Board of Supervisors, and the current investigation of Williams’ operations, there is plenty of smoke. It may be only a matter of time until there is fire.  Some believe that is long overdue…


About Over But Not Out

A retired Orange County employee, and moderate Republican. The editor seriously does not know OBNO's identity as did not the former editor, but his point of view is obviously interesting and valued.