OFFICE of PUBLIC ADMINISTRATOR
PUBLIC ADMINISTRATOR: John Pruett ()
LOCATION: 35 Court Square, Room 102, West Plains, MO. 65548
PHONE: (417) 255-0350
The Office of Public Administrator is an elected position and is governed pursuant to the Revised Statutes of Missouri, chapter §473. Pursuant to RSMo §473.730, every county in this state, except the City of St. Louis, shall elect a public administrator at the general election in the year 1880, and every four years thereafter, who shall be ex officio public guardian and conservator in and for the public administrator's county. A candidate for public administrator shall be at least twenty-one years of age and a resident of the state of Missouri and the county in which he or she is a candidate for at least one year prior to the date of the general election for such office. The candidate shall also be a registered voter and shall be current in the payment of all personal and business taxes. Each candidate for public administrator shall provide to the election authority a copy of a signed affidavit from a surety company, indicating that the candidate meets the bond requirements for the office of public administrator under this section. The secretary of state shall notify each election authority of the requirements of this section. The secretary of state will provide the necessary forms to assure compliance of the requirements of this section.
Before entering on the duties of the public administrator's office, the public administrator shall take the oath required by the constitution, and enter into bond to the state of Missouri in a sum not less than ten thousand dollars, with one or more securities, approved by the court and conditioned that the public administrator will faithfully discharge all the duties of the public administrator's office, which bond shall be given and oath of office taken on or before the first day of January following the public administrator's election, and it shall be the duty of the judge of the court to require the public administrator to make a statement annually, under oath, of the amount of property in the public administrator's hands or under the public administrator's control as such administrator, for the purpose of ascertaining the amount of bond necessary to secure such property; and such court may from time to time, as occasion shall require, demand additional security of such administrator, and, in default of giving the same within twenty days after such demand, may remove the administrator and appoint another.
The public administrator in all counties, in the performance of the duties required by chapters §473, §474, and §475, is a public officer. The duties specified by sections §475.120 and §475.343 are discretionary. The county shall defend and indemnify the public administrator against any alleged breach of duty, provided that any such alleged breach of duty arose out of an act or omission occurring within the scope of duty or employment.
After January 1, 2001, all salaried public administrators shall be considered county officials for purposes of section §50.333, subject to the minimum salary requirements set forth in section §473.742.
The public administrator for the City of St. Louis shall be appointed by a majority of the circuit judges and associate circuit judges of the twenty-second judicial circuit, en banc. Such public administrator shall meet the same qualifications and requirements specified in subsection 1 of this section for elected public administrators. The elected public administrator holding office on August 28, 2013, shall continue to hold such office for the remainder of his or her term.