Federal prosecutors said Thursday that former San Diego Mayor Maureen O’Connor took $2-million from her late husband's foundation to feed a gambling addiction that saw her squander the family's fortune, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Ms. O'Connor, who served from 1986 to 1992 as San Diego's first woman mayor, has two years to repay the R.P. Foundation as part of a deferred-prosecution agreement. Now 66 and in ill health following a stroke and the removal of a brain tumor, she pleaded not guilty to a charge of misappropriation, and the case may be dismissed if she complies with the terms of the deal.
Prosecutors said Ms. O'Connor made withdrawals in 2008 and '09 from accounts of the foundation launched in 1966 by her husband, Robert O. Peterson, who founded the Jack in the Box fast-food chain. Her attorney said she is now destitute. The R.P. Foundation closed in 2009.