Former ECOSLO director will face jury trial

August 1, 2011

Morgan Rafferty, accused of embezzling funds from two nonprofit organizations, will stand trial in San Luis Obispo Superior Court on Sept. 6, more than two years after being charged for grand theft. [The Tribune]

Rafferty, 48, is accused of taking $31,000 from Mothers for Peace, where she was treasurer, and nearly the same amount from the Environmental Center of San Luis Obispo, more commonly known as ECOSLO, where she was executive director.

Police reports from Arroyo Grande claim board members from Mothers for Peace told an investigator that they started having problems with their bills from mid-April through June of 2009.

Irregularities were found and when Rafferty was questioned about them she “repeatedly made excuses and would not provide (records and receipts),” according to the police reports.

A subsequent investigation of ECOSLO’s finances found similar alleged improprieties, according to the district attorney’s office.

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Maybe someone with a broader perspective on local-area governments from different regions can help me with this.

Is SLO County extra-corrupt, as a region, than most other local-area government regions?

Hardly. (unfortunately)

Wow. Such a hard thing to over-come. I’ve been treasurer of a couple non-profits, and understand there is temptation there, but one has to rise above it; there should always be measures put in place such as at least two counters (for income or fund raisers); a book keeper separate from a treasurer (if possible).

I would examine each non-profits charters or bylaws to see what needs to be put in place (or was not followed).

A dear friend, while we were in her native Ethiopia, commented that the people there are not thieves; I pointed out the bars on all the windows and asked about that; she replied, “That’s so they are not tempted to become thieves…”

Good post, rOy.

I often wonder what the ex-OCSD general manager did when he worked at the nonprofit outfit in Santa Maria, especially since he had his trusty little assistant with him there, too.

What a shame, I recall when Pam Heatherington was running ECOSLO. Funds were very tight and she stretched every penny having to prioritize the projects they could address, while always wishing they could do more. There were times when she even skipped her pay and now to hear something like this. People can be so evil, Rafferty, you’re a real sycophant who needs to sit in jail and think about how sociopathic your actions have been.

I am sure it really is no big deal… after all, a lot comes from us ‘taxpayers.’

And, tax deductable! :)


I just came to the same damn conclusion. At first blush, I thought “so what, it’s just ecos stealing from each other.” Then it occurred to me that because they are tax exempt, the alleged theft is a crime against the larger community.