You can now read 5 articles in a month for free on BostonGlobe.com. Read as much as you want anywhere and anytime for just 99¢.

Ex-media chief is accused of funds theft

Richard Connor was also sued by a Pennsylvania publishing firm.

Richard Connor was also sued by a Pennsylvania publishing firm.

The former chief executive of a media group that publishes the Portland Press Herald in Maine has been accused by his former employer of misusing more than $500,000 of company money.

Richard L. Connor, who led MaineToday Media from 2009 to 2011, gave himself unauthorized raises and charged the company for personal expenses, including vacation home rentals and a new car for his son, according to a memo sent to employees Wednesday by MaineToday’s current publisher, Lisa DeSisto.

Continue reading below

Connor has denied any wrongdoing.

DeSisto said the allegation is the result of “several independent forensic accounting reviews” conducted over a nearly a year. MaineToday Media’s insurer has paid the company $537,988.68, less a $50,000 deductible, under an employee theft insurance policy as reimbursement for money allegedly taken by Connor.

Connor’s alleged theft came at a time when MaineToday Media was struggling financially and came close to filing for bankruptcy protection. To help weather the storm, the company made deep staff cuts.

DeSisto said, “There is the possibility of further legal action on these issues.”

Connor has been accused of misusing company dollars before. After his departure from MaineToday Media, but before the group made its allegations public, Wilkes-Barre Publishing in Pennsylvania sued Connor. It claimed he used company money to pay for more than $250,000 of personal credit card charges while he served as chief executive of the Wilkes-Barre Times Leader between 2006 and 2011.

At MaineToday Media, DeSisto said in the memo that, “Mr. Connor was able to conceal his activity for as long as he did partly because company officers charged with financial oversight and reporting were frequently replaced.

“In fact, the former CEO went through four chief financial officers in just over two years,” DeSisto said. “When the former board of directors finally selected and installed its own, trusted CFO it was only a matter of a few months before Mr. Connor’s financial self-dealing was uncovered and he was out as CEO.”

Callum Borchers can be reached at callum.borchers@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @callumborchers.
Loading comments...
Subscriber Log In

You have reached the limit of 5 free articles in a month

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Already a subscriber?
Your city. Your stories. Your Globe.
Yours FREE for two weeks.
Enjoy free unlimited access to Globe.com for the next two weeks.
Limited time only - No credit card required!
BostonGlobe.com complimentary digital access has been provided to you, without a subscription, for free starting today and ending in 14 days. After the free trial period, your free BostonGlobe.com digital access will stop immediately unless you sign up for BostonGlobe.com digital subscription. Current print and digital subscribers are not eligible for the free trial.
Thanks & Welcome to Globe.com
You now have unlimited access for the next two weeks.
BostonGlobe.com complimentary digital access has been provided to you, without a subscription, for free starting today and ending in 14 days. After the free trial period, your free BostonGlobe.com digital access will stop immediately unless you sign up for BostonGlobe.com digital subscription. Current print and digital subscribers are not eligible for the free trial.