|Maureen O'Connor (photo via abcnews.go.com)|
O’Connor, who was the first female Mayor of San Diego and served from 1986-1992, came under fire last week when it was revealed that from 2000-2009 she stole 2 million dollars from a charity set up by her late husband and founder of Jack in the Box, Robert O Peterson. After using the money she inherited from her husband’s fortune, she began taking from his charity, the R.P. Foundation for her growing and frequent gambling debts. O’Connor admitted to siphoning off money in a plea deal while coming clean about her gambling addiction and brain tumor.
Reportedly O’Connor spent so much money in Vegas that casinos would pick her up in a private jet from San Diego. And according to her prosecutors, O’Connor’s net loss from her gambling addiction was about 13 million.
Those who knew O’Connor described a typical shift that happen with addicts, saying she had become a recluse and isolated from even close friends. O’Connor’s defense attorney claimed that her brain tumor may have impaired her reasoning and led to her addictive behaviors, using copies of her brain scan from a 2011 surgery as evidence to support his claim.
Considering this evidence, prosecutors deferred prosecution for O’Connor for two years. If during this time she repays the R.P. Foundation seeks addiction treatment for gambling addiction, her charges may be dismissed. If she doesn’t hold to these circumstances, she could face a maximum 10-year prison sentence and a fine of up to $250,000.
While many are aware of addiction rehabs for those from drug and alcohol addiction, few are aware of treatment resources for gambling addicts. As evidenced by O’Connor’s case, a serious gambling addiction is liable to take over not only your financial life, but social and professional life as well. If you would like information on gambling addiction and other process addictions, Passport to Recovery features various treatment centers that help gambling addicts recover from addictive gambling.