Meet the Staff

Don Hughes, Chief of Staff

Mr. Hughes began his career with the County of Orange in 1995 working as an intern for then Fifth District Supervisor Marian Bergeson. After finishing his degree in Political Science from Chapman University, Mr. Hughes returned to the County as a paid intern working for then Second District Supervisor Jim Silva. He was soon promoted to Executive Assistant, Policy Advisor and eventually Deputy Chief of Staff. Upon Supervisor Silva’s term ending after eight years of service, Mr. Hughes moved over to Orange County’s Public Works Department where he served as Legislative Program Manager until joining Supervisor Bates’ staff as Senior Policy Advisor in January 2009. Mr. Hughes was promoted to Chief of Staff in July 2010.

Mr. Hughes advises on issues related to OC Public Works, OC Parks, OC Dana Point Harbor and OC Waste & Recycling. Email Mr. Hughes at Don.Hughes@ocgov.com.

Brian Probolsky, Interim Chief of Staff

Mr. Probolsky rejoined the 5th District office in July 2014, having previously served as a Policy Advisor to Supervisor Bates. Mr. Probolsky spent the past two years working as the Business Practices Manager of OC Community Resources. He is a longtime resident of Laguna Niguel, where he lives with his wife and three children. An active member of our community, he has served on the OC Parks Commission, Laguna Niguel Parks & Recreation Commission, and the Board of Governors for the Saddleback College Foundation. He also serves as Vice President of the Moulton Niguel Water District (MNWD) Board of Directors and Chair of the MNWD Finance and Information Technology Committee. After the dissolution of the State’s Redevelopment Agencies, Mr. Probolsky was appointed to the City of Mission Viejo Redevelopment Oversight Board and currently serves as President.

Mr. Probolsky advises on issues related the Auditor-Controller, Assessor, Human Resources, Information Technology, Budget, and the Office of the CEO. Email Mr. Probolsky at Brian.Probolsky@ocgov.com.

Erik Weigand, Deputy Chief of Staff

Erik Weigand advises on issues related to Public Safety (Sheriff’s Department, District Attorney, Probation, Public Defender, Office of Independent Review and the Grand Jury), OC Parks, OC Public Works, John Wayne Airport, the Registrar of Voters, and the Orange County Fire Authority.

Prior to joining the staff of Supervisor Bates, Mr. Weigand previously served as District Director for California State Assemblyman Jim Silva of the 67th District, representing the northwestern cities of Orange County. During his role with the Assemblyman, He was responsible for the direction of the district office and representation of nearly 500,000 constituents. Previously, Mr. Weigand was Executive Director for the Republican Party of Orange County and served as the 72-Hour Director for President George W. Bush’s successful reelection campaign in Arizona. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminal Justice from Chapman University and has been a lifelong resident of Orange County. Email Mr. Weigand at Erik.Weigand@ocgov.com.

Veronica Carpenter, Policy Advisor

Before rejoining the Fifth District office, Mrs. Carpenter executed public outreach programs for Consensus Inc.’s. transportation, land use, and energy accounts in Orange County. As an account manager, Mrs. Carpenter worked with local elected officials, created strategic engagement plans, and implemented day-to-day activities for clients. Previously, Mrs. Carpenter served as an intern for Supervisors Bates. She also served as Assistant Program Administrator for USC’s Price School of Public Policy. Mrs. Carpenter holds a Master of Public Administration degree and Graduate Certificate of Public Policy from the University of Southern California and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Please email Mrs. Carpenter at Veronica.Carpenter@ocgov.com.

James Dinwiddie, Policy Advisor

Mr. Dinwiddie, a lifelong resident of Orange County, began his time with the Fifth District office as a public policy intern, prior to being brought on board as a member of the staff. Mr. Dinwiddie is a graduate of California State University, Long Beach (CSULB), where he graduated with a B.A. in Political Science and a minor in Geography. While at CSULB, Mr. Dinwiddie served as an AS Senator, representing over 35,000 individuals, and was Secretary-General of the international award winning Model United Nations Delegation. Before joining our staff, Mr. Dinwiddie worked at the municipal level as an intern for the Anaheim City Manager’s office. Mr. Dinwiddie is currently earning his Master of Public Administration from CSULB. Email Mr. Dinwiddie at James.Dinwiddie@ocgov.com.

Ruth Strachan, Office Manager

Mrs. Strachan has more than 30 years of experience in public service, including 25 years with the County of Orange. Her various roles with the County have included positions in Environmental Resources, Public Works and Social Services. Mrs. Strachan served eight years as Executive Secretary for immediate past Fifth District Supervisor Tom Wilson and has served Supervisor Bates since she assumed office in 2007.

Mrs. Strachan manages office operations and handles scheduling for Supervisor Bates. To request a meeting with Supervisor Bates, please email Mrs. Strachan at Ruth.Strachan@ocgov.com.