Calif. City Officials Put Up Own Cash as Reward for Vandalism to Reagan Statue

Thursday, 10 Nov 2011 04:44 PM

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Three city council members in Newport Beach, Calif., have posted their own money as a reward for any information leading to the arrest and conviction of whoever vandalized the city’s statue of President Ronald Reagan.

Councilman Keith Curry said Wednesday that the money would come from personal accounts, and not from council members' discretionary public funds, the city's general fund, or campaign contributions, according to the Daily Pilot.

The bronze statue commemorating the late president's 100th birthday was nearly yanked off its base this past weekend. Newport Beach police announced the $5,000 reward Wednesday, although some council members rebuffed the initial proposal to have the city cover the cost.

The statue has generated heated debate about political artwork on public property and methods to pay for such an effort.

"They're not city funds," Curry told the Daily Pilot. "Given the divisiveness about this, in our view this was a better way to handle it."

Curry said he would contribute $2,500. Mayor Mike Henn plans to give $1,500, and another council member who wants to remain anonymous plans to give the remaining $1,000.

It is still unclear who would pay for the statue's repair. Private donors raised $80,000 for the piece and city staff commissioned the sculptor.

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