Embattled Councilman Says He Won't Resign

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    NEWSLETTERS

    North County Times

    Vista City Councilman Frank Lopez Jr. insists he will not resign.

    Lopez, who earlier this week pleaded guilty to not paying workers' comp insurance for his business, insisted on Friday that he was fit for office. He also predicted that a recall effort now being mounted against him will fail.

    "I'm disappointed, but I will not resign, and I will continue to work for the people of this coummunity who elected me," Lopez said. "That's what I will do."

    Lopez said allegations that he wrote 650 bad checks on his business account are exaggerated. While he did not deny he wrote some bad checks, he would not specify how many. Lopez has not been charged with any crime related to those checks.

    The councilman also agreed to pay $12,000 in fines to the state and to spend a day in jail in connection to his guilty plea. Lopez and his wife both pleaded guilty on Wednesday.

    Lopez, who has served on the Vista City Council since 2004, owns the Casa Linda Mexican restaurant. He was under investigation for a year and was suspected of writing hundreds of bad checks to employees.
      
    The North County Times reported that Lopez and his wife lost tens of thousands of dollars gambling at casinos during the same time period those checks were written. In the end, however, he was only charged with failing to pay workman's comp insurance.

    Vista's other City Council members have made an informal request for Lopez to step down. The council's next scheduled meeting is Sept. 28.