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Wake County school board member Chris Malone, who stirred controversy by telling police he had been in a relationship with colleague Debra Goldman, issued an apology Friday to unspecified people whom he said he may have “disappointed.”
Malone, who won a close race for the state House District 35 seat Nov. 6, also said Friday that he would step down from his school board post Dec. 31. During the last few weeks of the legislative campaign, he had dealt with disclosures that he had told Cary police in 2010 that he had a romantic bond with Goldman, who has denied they had a relationship.
Malone had said he would discuss the police report after the election. But he didn’t directly mention it in a written statement issued Friday.
“I am mindful that we all have an obligation to live up to the highest standards of personal conduct,” Malone said. “To those I have disappointed, I would like to extend a heartfelt apology.”
Malone gave no specific reason for the apology. The relationship came up as part of a leaked Cary police narrative report in which Malone was cleared after Goldman named him as a possible suspect in a reported 2010 burglary of her home. Both Goldman and Malone are married, but Goldman is now going through a divorce.
Malone, a former Wake Forest town commissioner, was elected to the school board in 2009 and helped form a new Republican majority that lasted until the 2011 elections flipped control back to the Democrats.
Malone backed measures such as relocating a new high school to Rolesville, dropping the use of socioeconomic diversity from the student assignment policy and the new choice-based assignment plan being used this school year.
“While many times we on the school board were the targets for harsh criticism, I am happy to say that when it came down to the children’s best interest we did our best to put political party affiliation aside and work together to build the best school system for the children of Wake County that we could,” Malone said.
He’ll be sworn into legislative office next month.
“I look forward to serving the people of House District 35 in the General Assembly, and I pledge to represent our common values with humility, ethics and hard work,” Malone said.
Once Malone leaves, remaining school board members will fill the vacancy by choosing among applicants from his district, which includes Wake Forest, Rolesville, Wendell, Zebulon and part of Knightdale.
The new board member will finish out Malone’s term, which runs through November 2013.