SAO PAULO, April 3 (Reuters) - Marcelo Gasparino, the sole candidate to become chairman of Brazilian steelmaker Usiminas , said on Friday he had not withdrawn his candidacy after a judge ordered the seizure of his assets amid a scandal at a state power company.
Gasparino is ensnared in a case arising from the alleged misuse of 224 million reais ($71.8 million) at utility Centrais Eletricas de Santa Catarina SA, or Celesc, according to a statement by his office.
He told Reuters he had explained the situation to the minority shareholders that nominated him and all of them agreed he should maintain his candidacy to preside over Siderúrgicas de Minas Gerais SA, as the steelmaker is formally known.
Gasparino denied wrongdoing when he worked as coordinator of Celesc's legal and audit committee and said he expects to be free of the judicial process in the southern state of Santa Catarina soon.
The assets seizure was ordered on March 20 but not made public until Thursday.
Representatives for Tempo Capital, which proposed him for the Usiminas chairman position, declined to comment.
Shareholders of Usiminas will vote on Gasparino's nomination on April 6. The company has been caught in a power struggle between top investors Ternium SA and Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corp.
Gasparino said he "is not on either side" of the dispute.
$1 = 3.12 reais Reporting by Alberto Alerigi Jr; Writing by Caroline Stauffer; Editing by Paul Simao