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Moorlach elected to lead O.C. Board of Supervisors

January 09, 2008|Christian Berthelsen | Times Staff Writer

John Moorlach, the Orange County treasurer-turned-supervisor who threatened to upend the county's relationships with its public employees unions when he took office little more than a year ago, became chairman of the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday -- but left out the fiery rhetoric that characterized his once-aggressive stance.

Instead, he spoke of continuing his predecessor's practice of making board meetings more efficient and protecting county revenue from a potential raid by the state in a down economy.

"I want Orange County to be the best county we can possibly be," he said. "I want us to be the best in the state." He thanked his parents, who were in the audience. Moorlach's more muted tone came after a year in which he had a number of policy achievements, but some of his highest-profile crusades hit roadblocks or fell apart altogether.

Moorlach gained fame as a candidate for county treasurer in 1994 who warned that the incumbent's investment strategy was too risky, only to be ignored. He was proved right when the county was forced to file for bankruptcy over $1.6 billion in losses.

He was appointed by supervisors to fill the office vacated by Citron and served two terms.

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christian.berthelsen@latimes.com

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