Reagan Statue Vandalism Spurs $5,000 Reward

Wednesday, 09 Nov 2011 04:04 PM

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A Newport Beach, Calif., councilman wants the city to help offer a $5,000 reward to help catch anyone responsible for vandalizing a Ronald Reagan statue in a city park there during the weekend.

Councilman Keith Curry, who worked in the Reagan administration and was a leader in the effort to commission the bronze artwork, asked the city manager and police chief to organize the reward, reports the Los Angeles Times.

Vandals used a rope attached to a tan pickup to yank the life-size statue at Bonita Canyon Sports Park early Sunday, according to police. Officials do not know whether the intent was to steal the statue or just deface it.

"No matter your political beliefs, we as a community stand together in condemning this senseless vandalism," Curry said.

Councilwoman Nancy Gardner said she wouldn’t support using public funds for the reward. "I'm uncomfortable with the reward, simply because we have so many crimes in the city and we don't offer rewards," Gardner said.

In response, Curry said he would donate half of the amount from his campaign fund, the Times reports. Mayor Mike Henn said he would donate some as well. With their contributions, Henn said the city might not need to contribute from its general fund.

Several audience members at the council meeting also said they would pitch in to cover the reward costs.

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