The Orange County Board of Supervisors Tuesday appointed a new public guardian, Lucille Lyon, a former executive in Los Angeles County government.

Lyon succeeds John Williams, who was both public guardian and public administrator. Earlier this year, Williams was stripped of his public guardian position and resigned as public administrator after allegations that he mismanaged the offices.

Lyon will assume her new role July 29, according to a staff report. The board voted 3-1 to appoint her to the position, with Supervisor John Moorlach dissenting and Supervisor Janet Nguyen absent for the vote.

Most recently, Lyon was a division chief for the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health and also served as interim deputy director for the department.

Lyon was passed over as the permanent hire for that position, which was filled by someone who had worked under Williams, Moorlach said. He said he voted against her appointment for that reason.

“I don’t want to have one John Williams problem and replace it with another John Williams problem,” Moorlach said.

The Williams controversy began in 2009 when two scathing grand jury reports criticized his management of the county agency, which oversees complex estates of those without heirs as well as those of the indigent.

Later an appellate court found that Williams mismanaged the estate of Charles “Mask” Lewis, a clothing entrepreneur. Williams had inappropriately usurped control of the estate, the court declared.


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