November 22, 2019
LANSING - Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel today praised Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist’s appointment of Consumer Protection Division Chief Katharyn Barron as the new State Public Administrator – an appointment Gilchrist made during his stint as Acting Governor of Michigan this week. Barron’s appointment took effect late Thursday.
Barron began her career with the Attorney General’s office in 1992 and has served in various roles, including the department’s corrections division and state operations division. She was promoted from a senior attorney to the consumer protection division’s first assistant in 2000 and became its division chief in 2004. A two-time graduate of the University of Notre Dame, Barron has also played a critical role in the Attorney General’s Elder Abuse Task Force, working to protect Michigan’s seniors from elder abuse, neglect and exploitation.
“Katharyn has been a strong and tenacious advocate for Michigan consumers for nearly two decades,” Nessel said. “We need that dedication to service and her wealth of experience in her new role to ensure our most vulnerable populations have the protections they deserve.”
The State Public Administrator is appointed by the Governor and represents and protects the interests of vulnerable individuals in guardianship and conservatorship proceedings in which the protected resident has no presumptive heirs. The appointee also represents the interests of deceased individuals in probate cases where the heirs are unknown.
To efficiently practice in all 83 counties, the State Public Administrator Act authorizes the appointment of private attorneys in each county to serve on behalf of the State Public Administrator to handle cases for the state on an as-needed basis. While the county public administrators may have additional responsibilities outside of their appointment, their limited responsibility as a public administrator is deceased estates.