Here’s how NBC San Diego tells the story of the former mayor who stole millions from charity to feed her gambling addiction:
Former San Diego Mayor Maureen O’Connor appeared in a federal courtroom in San Diego, eyes filled with tears, as she faced a money laundering charge for taking millions from her foundation.
O’Connor, 66, won and lost more than $1 billion in gambling winnings over a nine-year period of playing video poker in Las Vegas, Atlantic City and San Diego.
O’Connor faces a single charge of money laundering involving $10,000 or more according to court documents.
The money was removed from a foundation called the RP Foundation set up by her late husband according to her attorney.
“A sum of money which she intended to repay but was unable to repay,” said attorney Eugene Iredale.
The money was earmarked for charitable purposes but was used for other purposes he said.
O’Connor’s entrance into the federal courthouse was unsteady.
Using a cane and answering haltingly, O’Connor appeared as a hollow shell of what she once was.
Attorneys say O’Connor won and lost up to $1 billion in gambling winnings over the course of 9 years.
The one-time leader of San Diego won and lost the staggering amount playing video poker in casinos ranging from San Diego to Atlantic City.
According to Iredale, she has had severe health problem for several years including a brain tumor which he blames for her gambling habit.
Iredale said she spent every last dime she had gambling.
She pleaded not guilty and was put on supervised pre-trial status.
She faces two years two years of deferred prosecution.
Her medical condition is such that she will not be booked immediately. Because she is under medical care of a physician, she’ll be booked Friday.
O’Connor, 66, served as San Diego’s mayor from 1986 to 1992. She also served on the San Diego City Council and the port commission.
Can you guess which party O’Connor belongs to? Because NBC doesn’t seem to want you to know.
HINT: It rhymes with “jemocrat.”