Apply as a Transfer/Demotion applicant

$48.85-$65.16 hourly / $8,467.00-$11,294.00 monthly / $101,608.00-$135,532.80 yearly


Under general direction, plan, organize, and direct the operations of the Public Guardian's office; supervise a staff providing conservatorship and public payee services for persons referred or placed under jurisdiction of the Public Guardian; analyze and prepare yearly budgets for the Public Guardian program; analyze financial trends and forecasts, and invest client assets to gain highest and best returns, and perform other work as required. Shall be appointed to hold the County office of "Public Guardian" in accordance with County Code Chapter 2.12. Perform other work as required.

Distinguishing Characteristics

This single position class is responsible for directing the work of a group of Deputy Public Guardians, Mental Health, and support staff working in the Public Guardian's office, and is appointed by the Board of Supervisors pursuant to County Code Chapter 2.12.

Typical Tasks

(NOTE: Depending on whether or not the incumbent is holding the County office of "Public Guardian," all or some of the following tasks are performed.) Plan, organize, direct, and review the work of the Public Guardian's office; develop major administrative policies and procedures, and direct their implementation; set and evaluate procedures and standards for investigation and administration of all referrals, including the determination of client estates, complying with legal requirements, settling difficult estate property issues, providing for the personal care and treatment of conservatees, accounting for safeguarding personal and real property, and managing complex monetary transactions and investments; assign functions to staff members and maintains contact with staff of other agencies to monitor workflow and insure efficient service delivery; direct liaison with other County departments providing support services, such as Auditor-Controller, County Counsel, District Attorney, Mental Health Services, Human Resources Agency, and others; direct liaison with courts, attorneys and other public and private agencies to insure the proper administration and management of conservatee estates and conservatee treatment plans; direct professional and clerical staff in the preparation of required reports, legal documents, and maintenance of detailed records documenting transactions in each case; interview and hire new employees and prepares written evaluations for all Public Guardian personnel in accordance with county personnel policies; analyze current year budget expenditures and revenues and prepares proposed budget for coming fiscal year; analyze current trends in fiscal market and makes investment decisions concerning the management of client assets to gain highest and best interest returns; testify in court concerning the investigation or administration of conservatorships; sign checks, receipts, and other legal documents as required; prepares comprehensive reports and records, including cost studies, organization analysis, job design and staffing estimates, and revenue and expenditure projections; assist with the investigation and administration of cases of a more complex and intricate nature; respond to the Board of Supervisors, Grand Jury, and other agencies concerning the operation of the Public Guardian function; assist other agency personnel in training related to activities and services of the Public Guardian program; collaborate with Public Guardians of other counties in the introduction, through legislators, of new legislation affecting the public guardian function; confer with Public Guardians of other counties on the implementation of such legislation; and may perform work in the field.

Employment Standards


Thorough knowledge of:

  • Welfare and Institutions Code, Probate Code, and other pertinent laws and regulations related to the Public Guardian function.
  • Community health, welfare and legal support systems, and other governmental resources available to Public Guardian client’s Public Guardian clients may require.
  • Principles, practices, and methods used in the administration of personal and real property as part of a conservatee's estate.
  • Communication techniques required for the location, identification, and transmittal of information pertaining to conservatees and payees, for interviewing, advising, and instructing subordinates, and communicating with courts, attorneys, physicians, and other agencies and individuals.

 Working knowledge of:

  • Principles and practices of public administration and including the training, direction, evaluation, and supervision of professional and clerical staff.
  • Accounting and fiscal procedures and record keeping practices necessary for the administration of the Public Guardian fiscal function.
  • Social and psychological problems affecting the acutely or chronically mentally ill or physically disabled person.
  • Case treatment plans and the linking and monitoring of services for the acutely or chronically mentally disabled or physically disabled client.
  • Investment trends and available methods of investment, pertaining to the management of client assets in a prudent and responsible manner.

Ability to:

  • Plan, organize, direct, coordinate, and supervise the work of public guardian staff.
  • Identify needs, goals, and develop and design program objectives, procedures, and evaluation techniques.
  • Analyze administrative and management problems, reach practical and logical conclusions, and implement needed changes on a timely basis.
  • Interpret, apply, and explain laws, rules, and procedures.
  • Define problem areas.
  • Supervise the collection, interpretation, and evaluation of data.
  • Validate conclusions, define and select alternatives.
  • Project and analyze consequences of decisions and recommendations.
  • Plan, and initiate actions and implement decisions and recommendations.
  • Develop, prepare, and analyze Public Guardian budget expenditures and revenue.
  • Implement, administer, and control the distribution of funds according to approved budgetary limitations.
  • Communicate effectively and tactfully with persons under emotional stress, persons suffering from acute or chronic mental disorder, and persons afflicted with physical disabilities.
  • Interpret, analyze, and implement fiscal management policies and decisions concerning the pruent and responsible investment of client assets.
  • Perform physical activities such as lifting clients' belongings weighing up to 60 pounds and walking up steep hills.
  • Work flexible hours and respond to afterhours emergencies.

Education and Experience:

Any combination of education and experience which would provide the required knowledge and abilities is qualifying, unless otherwise specified. A typical way to obtain the knowledge and abilities would be:

A bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university in business or public administration, social work, or related field OR Successful completion of a paralegal curriculum approved by the American Bar Association OR Graduation from law school.


Two years conservator guardianship investigation experience


Two years of line or staff management experience


Two years of active practice as an attorney, preferably with direct experience working on guardianship or probate issues

Special Requirements/Conditions:

  • License Requirement: Possession and maintenance of a valid California class C driver license.
  • Background Investigation: Fingerprinting is required.
  • Special Working Conditions: In the field, possible exposure to: dust, molds, poison oak, and insect bites; unpleasant odors such as from animal feces, urine soaked beds, and unwashed clients; infections from needles and syringes used by drug abusers.
  • Other Special Requirements: Must be bondable; must be available to work flexible hours including evenings, weekends, and holidays. May be assigned to carry a pager and respond to crisis situations.
  • Physically and mentally capable of performing the position's essential functions as summarized in the typical tasks.


PREVIOUS CLASS TITLES: Chief Public Guardian
Bargaining Unit: 11
EEOC Job Category: 02
Occupational Grouping: 65
Workers' Compensation Code: 0290

CLASS: DG8; EST: 8/1/1980; REV: 12/1/2019;