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PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — The parent company of three Maine newspapers is accusing its former CEO of misappropriating more than half a million dollars of company money on vacations, a $36,000 vehicle for his son and other expenses.

In a letter to employees Wednesday, publisher Lisa DeSisto says MaineToday Media received insurance money under its employee theft policy that former CEO Richard Connor allegedly took for personal use from 2009 to 2011.

DeSisto says the unauthorized spending totaled $538,000, including $287,000 in salary increases and bonuses, $90,000 in personal expenses charged to company credit cards and $36,000 for a vehicle for his son.

Connor tells the Portland Press Herald the allegations are wrong and that most of the expenses were legitimate. He is now CEO of Foster's Daily Democrat in Dover, N.H.

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