SAN DIEGO Former San Diego Mayor Maureen OConnor acknowledged Thursday in federal court that she misappropriated $2 million from her late husbands charitable foundation because of a gambling addiction in which she won more than $1 billion but lost even more over nearly a decade.
OConnor made the acknowledgement in an agreement with the government to defer prosecution for two years while she attempts to repay the debt.
OConnor was the Democratic leader of Californias second-largest city from 1986 to 1992. The two-term mayor was elected San Diegos first female leader after eight years on the City Council. She was married to Robert O. Peterson, founder of the Jack-In-The-Box restaurant chain.
Prosecutors said her gambling winnings amounted to more than $1 billion from 2000 to 2009 but she lost more than that.
Her defense attorney estimated the debt at $13 million.
OConnor gambled in Las Vegas, Atlantic City, N.J., and San Diego.