A prominent local environmental activist has been charged with misappropriating funds from the San Luis Obispo chapter of Mothers for Peace.
According to the complaint filed by the district attorney’s office Nov. 3, Morgan Rafferty, current executive director of the local nonprofit ECOSLO, is charged with one count of grand theft embezzlement, a felony.
Prosecutors allege between January 2007 and October 2008, Rafferty used her position as treasurer for SLO Mothers for Peace to siphon more than $33,000 through unauthorized checks.
If convicted, Rafferty could face not only restitution to the anti-nuke group, but also jail time, according to deputy district attorney Lee Cunningham.
She appeared Jan. 19 in the SLO County courthouse for a preliminary hearing, and requested a public defender before Superior Court Judge John Trice.
Rafferty told New Times she was shocked by the accusations against her, and added that she has dedicated years of service to the group, not only as treasurer, but also representing it on several occasions national conferences and in front of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
“I fully maintain my innocence to these accusations,” Rafferty said, “and I just have to put my faith in the judicial system.”
Mothers for Peace spokeswoman Jane Swanson confirmed Rafferty volunteered with the organization as treasurer and was relieved of her title some time before October, but declined to go into detail about what led to the complaint.
“Mothers for Peace appreciates the work of the D.A.’s office in investigating this matter and doing all the legal work,” Swanson said. “We believe we recognized the problem early on and Mothers for Peace seeks the full recovery of the missing funds.”