The Hamlet of Orange County Politics: John Williams Pulls Papers to Run for Office He’d Resigned
Posted by Chris Nguyen on July 31, 2012
“To run or not to run?” “To resign or not to resign?” Those are the questions facing John Williams.
Williams (R-Irvine) is a former South Orange County Community College District Trustee and former Orange County Public Administrator/Public Guardian. He resigned both posts in the last 20 months, but has pulled papers to challenge his SOCCCD successor.
You may recall his much-publicized flip-flopping on his resignation: In March 2011, Williams resigned as the elected Orange County Public Administrator, effective more than ten months later on January 23, 2012. In June 2011, the Board of Supervisors stripped Williams of his role as the appointed Orange County Public Guardian. Then, bizarrely, on January 23, 2012, the day his resignation was to take effect, Williams refused to leave office – not just from a legal sense, but he literally refused to leave his physical office; the Board of Supervisors had to order the locks on his door changed after he left for the day at 2:00 PM. After two weeks of legal wrangling, Williams finally gave up. The Board of Supervisors even put a measure on the June ballot to change the Public Administrator from an elected position to an appointed position to enable them to fire Public Administrators, but the measure was defeated by the voters.
However, forgotten in the bizarre story of his County position is the fact that Williams resigned as a Trustee of the South Orange County Community College District on December 2, 2010, effective December 31, 2010. Williams was unable to make any attempt to rescind this resignation, as Education Code Section 5090 clearly states, “A written resignation, whether specifying a deferred effective date or otherwise, shall, upon being filed with the county superintendent of schools be irrevocable.” Two weeks after the Williams resignation took effect, the SOCCCD Board appointed Dr. Frank “Mike” Meldau to replace Williams.
On July 23, Meldau pulled papers to run for a full term for the SOCCCD Trustee Area 7 seat. Then earlier today, Williams pulled papers to try to regain the seat he had resigned by challenging Meldau – the man appointed to succeed him.
Anyone following the political career of John Williams could get whiplash trying to keep track of his decisions. Presumably, the voters will be a bit more decisive in November.