Former regatta leader Connelly dies

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Eugene F. Connelly, former president and general chairman of the Pittsburgh Three Rivers Regatta who was widely known for his charitable work, died Thursday.

Mr. Connelly, 82, of Upper St. Clair, founded the regatta in 1977 and was the chief executive officer of the Sheraton Station Square Hotel Pittsburgh. He also managed parking lots at Station Square and the Mon Wharf in Pittsburgh.

Mr. Connelly aided his late brother, riverboat gambling and supermarket promotions magnate John Connelly, with creating the Gateway Clipper riverboat fleet and was an executive with his brother's firm, J. Edward Connelly Associates Inc. John Connelly died in May.

Edward Connelly also was involved with many civic and charitable organizations and received numerous awards for his charity work, including presidential citations from Ronald Reagan and George Bush and a letter of commendation from former Vice President Al Gore.

He ran the regatta for two decades until a former employee in 1997 accused him of misappropriating more than $200,000 from the event.

He later admitted that he didn't pay taxes on $234,932 in regatta funds misused between 1990 and 1995 and pleaded guilty to three counts of lying on his income tax forms.

In 2000, a federal judge sentenced Mr. Connelly to six months in prison. His attorney argued at the time that he was suffering from dementia related to Alzheimer's disease.

More details in tomorrow's Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.


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