Steven E. Malone, who served as chief of staff for former Supervisor Don R. Roth, has announced that he will make his own bid for the Board of Supervisors.
Malone, 48, of Huntington Beach, said Thursday that he will offer himself to voters as a "truthful, low-key, independent" candidate seeking the 2nd District seat that Supervisor Harriett M. Wieder plans to vacate when she retires next year.
He said he will have to divorce himself from the controversy surrounding his former boss, who resigned last year and pleaded guilty to violations of the state's ethics codes.
During the criminal probe of Roth, Malone cooperated with investigators and described how he helped his boss conceal gifts he received for political favors.
"What happened is a legacy I have to live with, but it's an experience I've learned from," Malone said. "I'm a stronger and wiser person for it."
Malone, a Republican, said his 19 years of experience in government have given him an insight into the problems and excesses of local government. Before joining Roth's staff, Malone was an aide to former Supervisor Ralph Clark.
Malone plans to run a bare-bones campaign: He said he has no campaign manager, no campaign funds and no plans to advertise.
Since Roth's resignation in March, 1993, Malone has been "on hiatus," watching Orange County politics from afar, he said. "The supervisors have neglected the business of this county in exchange for furthering their political careers," he said.
Malone, citing strategy, declined to describe his platform.
Three board seats will be up for grabs this year, with seven candidates vying so far.
Malone joins Huntington Beach council members Jim Silva and Linda Moulton-Patterson, and businesswoman Haydee V. Tillotson as candidates for Wieder's post.
State Sen. Marian Bergeson and Laguna Hills businesswoman Madelene Arakelian are vying for Supervisor Thomas F. Riley's 5th District spot. Riley also plans to retire.
Fourth District Supervisor William G. Steiner, appointed to fill Roth's spot, is so far running unopposed.