“San Diego Channel 10 online ABC News affiliate on February 14, 2013 reported that 66 year old Maureen O’Connor, former San Diego Mayor for two terms from 1986 to 1992, is currently charged with money laundering as a result of a cash transaction of $10,000 or more.
Of note is the fact O’Connor was the first female mayor for San Diego. Her previous professional career spanned over a decade in various positions teaching physical education, as well as a member of the San Diego City Council and Unified Port District Commission. She is also widely known to have married the founder of Jack-In-The-Box fast-food chain, Robert O. Peterson, who also founded Southern California First National Bank, which eventually was purchased by Union Bank. In 1994, her husband died.
The article also revealed the ex-Mayor sold a luxury Heritage House resort for $19.5 million, she later sued the bank that provided financing for the buyers, and in 2010 sold her La Jolla home for $2.5 million, which is now owned by Mitt Romney, 2012 former Republican nominee for president. According to the U-T San Diego, it was a short sale and the county reassessed the property at a $4.5 million soon after the purchase.
The article did not report an interview with the attorney for the former Mayor so it is not immediately clear what defense has been argued nor mitigating facts and evidence, if any. Although O’Connor could be sentenced for up to 10 years in prison and often prosecutors seek to set an example in these cases to deter others from money laundering, a maximum penalty is unlikely as the article referenced a possible and existing plea deal or settlement in Federal Court.”
“In the news account dated August 30, 2012, the President of a Junior High School Parent Teacher’s Club is reported to have used the Club’s credit card one year prior to becoming its President to purchase for herself up to $4200 in merchandise from the Target store, which led to a current embezzlement charge. She also serves as Publicity Director for the Junior High School Football team.
Until all of the facts are known to be true, it is of no benefit to draw conclusions from reading the newspaper or listening to news accounts from media about anyone’s alleged criminality. At this point in an open criminal case the news media does not have the benefit of all of the facts and circumstances and, therefore, the public has even less because a reporter as a matter of course will selectively choose what events &/or actions to report in their account of a particular case. For example, if one entered the store with the intent to commit a crime, the charges would normally have been burglary, but the reporter did not include any such reference to additional charges brought by law enforcement and the prosecution. On the other hand, the reporter has sought to influence the reader’s opinion about the case at hand by including references to a prior grand theft conviction that took place about two (2) years ago.”
Sam Spital, Criminal Defense Lawyer.
“Nothing could be more personal than the care and treatment provided by a licensed physician. We place our trust and confidence in doctors and in turn expect them to apply their sound judgment to carry out proper medical protocols and procedures, and to provide the appropriate medical advice and services.
For anyone to falsely represent she is a licensed physician when not is at the very minimum unspeakable.
Even more troubling is the fact a lay person took a huge amount of money for her “alleged services” and injured an innocent victim who relied upon and was entitled to receive quality medical attention.
As a San Diego criminal defense attorney, at times we may not dispute criminality, but focus on the defendant’s recognition of wrongdoing. There may be a defense to the wrongdoing, but the emphasis can be on the punishment. Here, what should be taken into consideration are a host of special factors, such as remorse and the lack of a prior criminal record.
Not knowing anything more about this case than published in the news media, the best one can do is try not to be too judgmental. Once a complete life history of the defendant, an analysis of all of the facts and issues, and the elements of motivation and an individual’s mental state are known and considered, a criminal defense attorney can develop his strategy.”