◼ 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....