Three former mayors of Vista were selected Friday as leading candidates to temporarily fill City Councilman Ed Neal’s seat, which was vacated when Neal resigned this week as part of a plea bargain.
The council, meeting in special session, agreed to appoint a replacement for Neal pending an election in November, when the councilman’s term expires. The four remaining members also decided to ask candidates for the job not to run for the post later this year.
The three men selected as possible appointees to the seat are Dan Carr, an auto parts store owner, Lloyd Tracy, a retired insurance agent, and Bernie Rappaport, who owns a travel agency. The three, each of whom has served as mayor of Vista, will be interviewed by the council next week.
Neal, 46, was charged with three felony counts of misappropriation for allegedly billing the City of Vista for his girlfriend’s meals and air fare during a trip the couple took to Washington in June. Under the plea bargain reached Tuesday, the first-term councilman agreed to resign his seat and plead guilty if prosecutors dropped two charges and reduced the third to a misdemeanor.
On Thursday, Neal resigned and was placed on three years’ probation and fined $1,000 by Superior Court Judge Richard Huffman.