Whatever Happened To...?
By Thomas K. Arnold and Margie Farnsworth
(page 2 of 5)
J. David Dominelli & Nancy Hoover
Captain Money and the Golden Girl, once the high-flying darlings of San Diego’s social scene, fell to the ground with a thud when the La Jolla financier’s Ponzi-scheming ways came to light in 1984. Dominelli pleaded guilty to bilking investors out of $80 million and, after a brief flight to Montserrat, was dispatched to prison for a 20-year term.
The swindler’s gal pal, a former mayor of Del Mar, also spent 30 months in the clink—but not before she married millionaire toxic-waste czar Kenneth Hunter, who poured $2 million into her defense. Upon her release, Hoover moved north to her rich hubby’s palatial digs in Montecito, near Santa Barbara—but after he died in January 2000, a former associate says, she quietly slipped back to Del Mar. Dominelli, meanwhile, got out of jail early, in 1996, and has been living ever since near his boyhood home in Chicago.
In 1972, no San Diego Padre was more revered than slugger Nate Colbert. Today, in one of those ironic twists of superstardom, his name is more infamous than famous. Whatever happened to the man dubbed Nate the Great and the player who still stands as the Padres’ home-run leader?
The Padres organization says it has no contact with Colbert, although he was one of the first inductees into its Hall of Fame. The Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association says it has no info on him, and a check with local sportswriters also turned up nada. Internet searches weren’t productive, and a phone number for a Colbert friend in North County goes unanswered.
The former first baseman apparently was last seen publicly refuting claims he had defrauded would-be investors he met at a Padres fantasy baseball camp in 2001. The men say they thought they were funding an instructional hitting video produced by Colbert, and no video was ever made.
In a segment last September on HBO’s Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel, Colbert (who served six months for a bank fraud conviction in 1990) told reporter Jim Lampley, “I’m getting in a position that I can take care of these [financial] things, because more than anything else I don’t want anybody to lose money, but worse than that I don’t want to lose friendships.”
Nancy McHutchin Chase
Once the fund-raising queen of San Diego city politics, the former Nancy McHutchin raised huge wads of cash for such 1980s political dynamos as Larry Stirling and Mike Gotch. Her work on behalf of Gotch, councilman for Mission Beach and Pacific Beach, raised eyebrows because her husband at the time, Graham McHutchin, was the primary developer of the Belmont Park shopping center, championed by Gotch but bitterly opposed by many of his constituents.
McHutchin got out of fund-raising in the early 1990s and for the past eight years has operated her own public affairs consultancy, The Chase Group, out of Solana Beach. Clients include Clarus Energy and Poseidon Resources, the latter of which is trying to develop a desalinization plant in Carlsbad. “I kind of lost my appetite for fund-raising,” Chase says. “It used to be seasonal, but then it just became constant.”