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Newport Beach officials post own cash for Reagan statue reward

November 10, 2011 | 10:08 am

Ronald Reagan statue vandalizedThree Newport Beach City Council members have posted their own money as a reward for the Ronald Reagan statue vandal.

Councilman Keith Curry told the Daily Pilot 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.

Newport Beach police officially announced the $5,000 reward Wednesday for any information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons who nearly yanked the bronze statue in Bonita Canyon Sports Park off its base this past weekend.

Throughout its short history, the statue commemorating the late president's 100th birthday has generated heated debate about political artwork on public property and methods to pay for such an effort.

"They're not city funds," Curry said Wednesday. "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 wishes 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.

Individuals with information about the vandalism are urged to contact Det. Pete Carpentieri at (949) 644-3772 or pcarpentieri@nbpd.org.

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— Mike Reicher, Times Community News

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