Hedgecock Aides Admit Breaking Law : Two Plead Guilty to Conspiracy in Ex-Mayor’s 1983 Campaign

Times Staff Writer

Two former political associates of Roger Hedgecock admitted in sworn statements Friday that they were aware they were breaking the law when they conspired to funnel hundreds of thousands of dollars into Hedgecock’s 1983 mayoral campaign.

In statements submitted to the court as part of guilty pleas, both Nancy Hoover and Tom Shepard detailed their knowledge and their participation in the scheme.

But the ex-mayor denied Friday that a conspiracy ever existed.

“We never at any time conspired to break the law,” Hedgecock said at radio station KSDO, where he now works as a talk show host. He was convicted of perjury and conspiracy last October and later sentenced to one year in local custody. He remains free while appealing his case.


“I haven’t talked to them. . . . I don’t know why they’re making admissions to something they know is not true,” Hedgecock said of Hoover and Shepard.

Perjury Charges Dropped

As part of a plea-bargain agreement, Hoover and Shepard each pleaded guilty in San Diego Municipal Court to single counts of conspiracy to violate campaign spending and disclosure laws. In return, the district attorney agreed to drop 14 perjury charges against each.

Hoover is a former associate of J. David (Jerry) Dominelli, the convicted swindler who in February pleaded guilty to conspiring to illegally finance Hedgecock’s campaign. Shepard is a former Hedgecock aide and political consultant.


Hoover’s statement said that she knew city law prohibited contributions of more than $250 from an individual. Yet, she said, she and Jerry Dominelli gave a “substantial amount of money” to the Shepard political consulting firm to aid the Hedgecock campaign. She said Hedgecock was aware of the arrangement. Shepard admitted that his company “was to a very great extent financed by Nancy Hoover and J. David & Co.”

Money Kept Firm Afloat

According to court documents submitted during Hedgecock’s trial, Shepard’s firm was kept afloat primarily through more than $350,000 supplied in 1982 and 1983 by Dominelli, Hoover and the J. David firm.

The plea-bargain agreement calls for Hoover to pay a $10,000 fine and perform 350 hours of community service. Shepard would pay a $1,000 fine and perform 200 hours of service. Neither would be sentenced to jail. Sentencing was set for May 16.