Crime

Morro Bay attorney pleads no contest to stealing from elderly clients

A Morro Bay estate attorney and former planning commissioner faces up to a year in jail and must surrender his law license after being convicted Thursday of stealing from elderly clients.

John Patrick Fennacy, 50, pleaded no contest Thursday to a felony charge of grand theft over $950, in exchange for prosecutors dismissing a criminal enhancement alleging he took property exceeding $65,000.

Fennacy faces a maximum of one year in San Luis Obispo County Jail, five years of formal probation, 100 hours of community service and a yet-to-be-determined amount of restitution. He must immediately forfeit his license to practice law and agree not to practice law until terms of his probation are complete.

In a complaint filed in February, the San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Office alleged that Fennacy — whose now-defunct website had listed him as specializing in elder law and estate planning — stole at least $65,000 from a client’s trust fund.

Fennacy served on the Morro Bay Planning Commission from January 2012 to May 2014 and was involved in an unsuccessful recall effort against Mayor Jamie Irons in 2013.

He was a former co-owner of Brickhouse BBQ. He handed over full ownership of the restaurant to his son last year.

Fennacy is scheduled to be sentenced Dec. 8 in San Luis Obispo Superior Court.

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