Monday, January 30, 2012

Williams' emergency petition denied; final decision in six weeks

• Williams’ bid for immediate reinstatement denied (OC Reg)

OC's "It" boy
     An Orange County judge this morning denied an emergency petition by John Williams, the county’s locked-out public administrator, for immediate reinstatement to his office.
     Instead, Superior Court Judge William Monroe ordered further hearings on the issue.
     Williams was locked out of his office last week, after he failed to step down on the day he had said he intended to retire.
     Facing accusations that he had mismanaged his department and the estates of some deceased people, Williams last March wrote to Bill Campbell, then chairman of the county’s Board of Supervisors, saying he intended to retire on Jan. 23, 2012, which was last Monday.
     However, Williams recently informed county officials that he’d changed his mind about retiring. He showed up for work on Tuesday, Jan. 24, staying at his Santa Ana office until about 2 p.m. After he left, county workers swooped in to change the locks. John Moorlach, current chairman of the Board of Supervisors, said he approved the lockout and Williams’ removal from the county payroll.
. . .
John Moorlach
     Judge Monroe this morning heard arguments from Williams’ attorney, Phil Greer, as well as from Leon Page representing the county. Monroe then denied Williams’ request to be reinstated immediately. The judge suggested he wants more information and testimony on the issue, ordering both sides to agree to a schedule for hearings.
. . .
     The parties will return to court on March 13.
. . .
     Williams, 60, has served as the county’s elected public administrator since 2003. He had also served as the appointed public guardian until the Board of Supervisors fired him from that role in June. He continued to receive annual salary and other pay totaling $153,448.44 for the two positions.
. . .
     In exchange for Williams’ agreement last March to retire, the Board of Supervisors agreed not to cut his pay during his remaining 10 months in office and not to release a “highly critical” report on his performance prepared for the board by an outside lawyer, according to a letter sent to Williams last week by County Counsel Nick Chrisos.

Cousin It
• For Now, County Can Keep the Locks on Williams' Door (Voice of OC)

     ...The county's filings argued that Williams' action is "essentially a thinly veiled attempt to remain on county payroll -- and boost his pension entitlement -- even though he had been previously stripped of virtually all of his official duties."....

• John Williams Told to Stay Away (Navel Gazing)

   ...Williams' own attorney testifies to his client's incompetence, confirming that he did send the board a letter of resignation. Williams later changed his mind, according to the mouthpiece....

2 comments:

  1. Tod Spitzer writing on the Register website:

    "To Steve Grasha: were we at the same hearing? Phil Greer filed a writ to have the Judge order the County to let Williams back on the premises. I attended and was allowed to address the Judge. I went for one reason which I accomplished and was able to voice to the Court: that John Williams was given a sweetheart deal after he was fired as the Public Guardian. He was allowed to keep his full salary eventhough his workload was reduced by 80%. Who gets that kind of a deal? I told the Judge that Williams' state of mind when he made the deal to keep his full pay after he was fired is what the Court needed to focus on; not Wiiliams false statement now that he apparently is trying to tell everyone he never made such a promise to retire this last Monday, the 23rd.

    He didn't. Big shocker.

    How can anyone defend John Williams who is now saying he never intended to retire?

    So you are praising John Williams who has duped the taxpayers, padded his pension and now has no honor given his promises to get a Court to order him reinstated? He ran his Department into the ground; his successor filed a scathing affadavit about the wreckage she encountered when she took over as PG.

    The Judge obviously listened to me since he repeated the point at least four times during the hearing. The County detrimentally relied on Williams' promise to retire. The County paid him and hired a replacement to do the functions Williams was found too incompetent to perform. Williams promised to retire and in exchange he was awarded an exorbitant salary for doing nothing; was promised that the investigation about him would not be released and that he would even get a consulting job with the CEO if it was necessary in order to make his January 23, 2012.

    Spin it however you want. But the days of John Williams and others like him who have enjoyed special privileges and protections are over. Peggy Buff was also demoted and shipped out of the PA/PG and she landed a job because of her political connections.

    The Grand Jury warned about Williams twice; the Appellate Court reversed Williams' awarding of an estate he had no business managing (TapouT) and CEO Tom Mauk tried to get Williams demoted but was overruled by a 3-2 Board of Supervisors.

    The taxpayers deserve people who actually work and are competent. I will do everything I can to ensure that John Williams never spends another day working any where near the County of Orange.

    Yes, it was only round one. But Williams lost it by a KO."

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  2. I think it's kinda great how the BoS and Williams have handed Spitzer a solid gold campaign issue, one in which the corpses of Carona and Street can be exhumed and displayed. One thing the BoS wants even more than to get rid of Williams is to keep Spitzer from being elected to their body.

    They've all played right into Todd's hand. He's got to be jumping for joy.

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