A Morro Bay attorney and former planning commissioner who pleaded not guilty to charges of felony embezzlement has now been arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
John Fennacy, who resigned from the Morro Bay Planning Commission in September 2014, was arrested on a suspected DUI near Cachuma Lake in Santa Barbara County on March 25. According to the California Highway Patrol office in Buellton, the agency hadn’t yet submitted charges to the District Attorney as of press time.
The arrest makes Fennacy’s second run-in with law enforcement this year. On Feb. 27, the San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Office filed a felony charge alleging Fennacy embezzled more than $950 from a family trust between November 2012 and November 2013. The office also filed an enhancement alleging Fennacy took, damaged, and destroyed property exceeding $65,000.
Fennacy pleaded not guilty to the charges at an April 1 arraignment before Superior Court Judge Hugh F. Mullin III. He has also asked to have a public defender assigned.
A Morro Bay-based attorney, Fennacy practices in areas including elder law, employee benefits, government, labor and employment, litigation, trust and estates, and wills and probate, according to the State Bar of California website. The same website doesn’t list any record of discipline against Fennacy.
Fennacy was also one of the early organizers—and early signers on the recall petition—of an unsuccessful campaign to oust Morro Bay Mayor Jamie Irons.
Fennacy didn’t return a call to his office seeking comment.