Mt Pleasant News

Wash Journal   Fairfield Ledger
Neighbors Growing Together | Jul 18, 2018

Theft charge dismissed in statue case

Jul 31, 2017

By Andy Hallman, Golden Triangle News Service


FAIRFIELD — Van Buren County Attorney Virginia Barchman has dismissed the charge of first degree theft against Phillip Grandinetti, initially charged in relation to the disappearance of the Civilian Conservation Corps statue from Lacey-Keosauqua State Park in Van Buren County.

Grandinetti was arrested Wednesday in Henry County, and bonded out of jail. Van Buren County Sheriff Dan Tedrow told The Ledger Thursday that Grandinetti was a person of interest in the case because of his employment at Grandinetti Metal Recycling.

After the statue was stolen last week, law enforcement obtained information indicating it had passed through multiple hands before being discovered in Davenport, though not intact. Pieces of it had gone to a metal recycling facility in Peoria, Illinois.

Tedrow said that, when Grandinetti was contacted to see if he had any contact with the statue, he refused to cooperate with law enforcement, whereupon he was arrested.

Grandinetti’s attorney Steven Ort of Bell, Ort & Liechty in New London issued a news release Friday expressing disappointment that his client was accused of being uncooperative.

“The statement by the Van Buren County Sheriff that [Grandinetti] refused to cooperate with law enforcement was false and damaging to his reputation,” read the news release. “He is deeply disappointed that his effort to assist in identifying the perpetrators and securing evidence for law enforcement was used to instigate a malicious and unfounded criminal charge.”

Ort wrote that the charges are an “unfortunate stain upon [Grandinetti’s] character.” Furthermore, Ort wrote that the allegations against his client have caused him to endure numerous “vicious and hateful comments to be directed to him and his business.”

“None of this is or was warranted by the facts,” the news release concluded.

Barchman declined to comment on her motion to dismiss when reached for comment Friday. Today, the Van Buren County Sheriff’s Office announced it would no longer comment on this case because it remains an ongoing investigation.

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