Former Moorpark City Councilman Bernardo M. Perez defeated six other candidates in a special election Tuesday to fill a council seat left vacant by a recalled council member.
"We kept our poise and kept repeating the same message, that we are for Moorpark," said Perez, a 38-year-old service representative for the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. "It was close but we knew that we would prevail."
Perez received 997 votes, narrowly defeating city Planning Commissioner Paul W. Lawrason Jr., who received 951 votes. Voter turnout in the special election was about 32%, county election officials said.
Appointed in 1987
Perez, who was appointed to the council in February, 1987 but defeated in a special election last June, will serve the eight months remaining in the term of former City Councilman Thomas C. (Bud) Ferguson. Ferguson was recalled by voters in a November special election.
Ferguson was accused of bribery and other political corruption by former City Councilman Danny Woolard. Woolard, who resigned from the council in January, 1987, and later served a prison sentence for embezzling U.S. Postal Service funds, alleged that Ferguson had lent him as much as $30,000 while the two men served on the council. Woolard maintained that the money was lent in an effort to influence his vote.
No charges were brought against Ferguson after a six-month investigation by the Ventura County district attorney's office. Ferguson denied all of the allegations.
The population in this fast-growing eastern Ventura County city has jumped to more than 20,000 residents, prompting passage in 1986 of a slow-growth measure that now limits new building to 250 homes per year.
Local Elections Moorpark CITY COUNCIL 7 of 7 precincts FINAL For the unexpired term ending Nov., 1988
Vote % Bernardo M. Perez* 997 36.8 Paul W. Lawrason Jr. 951 35.1 Scott Montgomery 379 14.0 Roger Beaulieu 181 6.7 Don Fender 108 4.0 Danny Rasey 75 2.8 Amado Reynoso 15 .6
Winner in bold type with an asterisk.