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O.C. administrator won't step down, is locked out of office

January 25, 2012 |  4:37 pm

John WilliamsJohn Williams’ stint as Orange County’s public administrator was supposed to come to an end Monday.

But when Monday rolled around, the beleaguered elected official showed up for work anyway, the Voice of OC reported.

On Tuesday –- in an effort to make sure Williams got the point -- the locks at his Santa Ana office were ordered changed. And he was told not to come back.

Whether he returns to work is unclear, though his attorney told the Orange County Register that his client certainly won’t break into his own office.

Last year, Williams was stripped of most of his official duties, which were farmed out to other officials appointed by the county. The public administrator, among other things, oversees the estates of people who die without heirs and those of indigent people.

Williams was criticized in a pair of grand jury reports, the last blistering him for "egregious" mismanagement, including questionable promotions that cost hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars." The report concluded  that a complete restructuring of the office was in order.

Despite all that, voters easily reelected Williams in 2010 to another four-year stint.

"They cannot throw an elected official out," his attorney Phil Greer said, adding that county officials are "behaving completely outside the scope of the law."

Greer said his client will attempt to work things out with the county and never promised that he would resign -- only that he would consider stepping down.

Barring a resolution, he said, the whole thing will probably wind up in court.


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-- Steve Marble

Photo: John Williams