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Addicted mayor gambled away $1 billion in charity money

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
February 14th, 2013
Catholic Online (

The former Democratic Mayor of San Diego, Maureen O'Connor, has reached a deal with prosecutors to repay some $2 million in money she gambled away that was intended for charity.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The frail 66-year-old O'Connor, entered into a deferred prosecution deal where she will repay some $2 million she allegedly improperly took from a charitable trust established by her late husband, Robert O. Peterson.

Peterson is best known for establishing the Jack in the Box chain of restaurants and made a fortune in the hotel and banking industries. He left a sizeable part of that fortune in a charitable trust.

O'Connor, who had access to the money admitted in court that she has a gambling addiction. By her estimate, she gambled away about $1 billion in family money at casinos in the Los Angeles and San Diego area between 2008 and 2009. She is now destitute.

Her health also appears to be poor. Although only 66, she is frail and walks with the aid of a cane.

O'Connor, a Democrat, was the mayor of San Diego from 1986 to 1992, and built a reputation as a maverick. Prior to that career, she was a well-regarded swimmer and physical education teacher.

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