The Orange County Board of Supervisors has delayed removing its Public Guardian duties John Williams, the county’s current Public Administrator.

The challenge the county is facing is that an elected official’s salary cannot be cut during his or her term. So if they remove Mr. Williams from his role as Public Guardian, they still have to pay him for it.

Several weeks ago, it was reported that the county was in negotiations with Mr. Williams to arrange a severance package if he stepped down from his duties. This would allow the county to fund his replacement.

He had announced he was retiring, but the effective date is not until January of 2012.

From the Orange County Register:

The Board of Supervisors delayed stripping beleaguered Public Administrator John S. Williams his public guardian duties Tuesday as the country struggles to overhaul the two departments, which has come under intense criticism, including a claim accusing the county of negligence for allegedly mismanaging the multi-million estate of Tapout co-founderCharles “Mask” Lewis.

Supervisors gave unanimous preliminary approval earlier this month to voiding a 2007 county ordinance which made the elected public administrator the ex-officio public guardian.

The final vote was scheduled for Tuesday, but after a closed session discussion, supervisors put it off until Mach 22. If the change is adopted, a new public guardian would be in place April 14 to head the newly created Orange County Public Guardian Department.

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