Friday, May 08, 2009

DA files charges against museum curator

Former museum curator suspected of selling museum items on eBay
Robert Newell, the former curator of the Fortuna Depot Museum who was hired in January, was arrested after a co-worker told police he suspected Newell was selling items that belonged to the museum on eBay....

According to a police document filed in Humboldt County Superior Court, after investigators learned of the allegations they contacted Newell, who reportedly admitted the thefts and led officers to his residence. There, investigators reportedly found missing museum property, as well as records of sales made over the Internet.

Those sold items “were several thousand dollars in value,” the officer wrote in his report.

The District Attorney's Office has filed charges against Newell, alleging that from February through April, Newell was in possession of stolen property that had been obtained by extortion from the city of Fortuna's Depot Museum.

Newell has pleaded not guilty to the charges, and awaits a pretrial hearing May 24.

According to information from the District Attorney's Office, the two charges have been reduced from felonies to misdemeanors.
Deputy District Attorney Ben Mainzer, who has been assigned to the case, could not be reached for comment on why the charges were reduced....


  1. My ancestors and their neighbors helped pioneer the Eel River Valley. Selling our ancestors' legacy on e-Bay -- by the person most responsible for its care -- is unforgiveable.

  2. In any case, if the items were to be sold, it should have been approved, and any proceeds belong to the museum itself.

    There's way to much of this kind of thing going on lately.

  3. The poor schmuck who has this from the DA's office is a new hire who only has been practicing for a couple of months.

    Poor guy - didn't he google this place before accepting the job?

  4. Gallegos thinks that it is so unforgiveable that he is giving the dude misdemeanors right from the start!

    And what about the murderer, an old town stabbing, that recently got a no contest plea to manslaughter and credit for time served ?? WTF ? I was told that the case was preped for trial and the DA's office caved in at the last minute. Could it be because the victim was a drug user or seller as was the murderer ?


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