Former Portland Press Herald publisher accused of misusing $500,000

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 MTM’s current publisher, Lisa DeSisto.

DeSisto said the allegation is the result of “several independent forensic accounting reviews” conducted over a nearly year-long period. MaineToday Media’s insurer has paid the company $537,988.68, less a $50,000 deductible, under the company’s employee theft insurance policy.

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Connor has denied any wrongdoing.