Tuesday, March 01, 2011
The trucker who damaged a controversial display at the Loveland Museum/Gallery must pay $2,991 in restitution — less than half the amount requested by prosecutors. Judge Thomas French subtracted the cost of counseling to city employees and went with the average sale price of the art instead of the amount paid by insurance, according to his written ruling issued Monday. “I feel that is a fair and just resolution,” said defense attorney Derek Samuelson. Kathleen Folden drove to Loveland from her home in Montana in October and took a crowbar to a display that had drawn protestors to the museum for nearly a week. Many were irate about an image they saw as a sexual depiction of Jesus. The museum fielded thousands of calls, complaints and threats along with calls of support and many more visitors wanting to see “The Misadventures of the Romantic Cannibals,” by artist Enrique Chagoya. The protests came to a crashing halt when Folden — wearing a Christian-themed T-shirt — broke the display case and tore up the lithograph in question. A month later, she pleaded guilty to misdemeanor criminal mischief in a deal that kept her out of jail and in counseling. Folden also agreed to pay restitution. The amount she owed, however, was not agreed upon. In a hearing Feb. 16, prosecutors asked for $6,748 — $3,400 for the cost of the piece, $1,825 for the broken frame, both to the insurance company that paid the owner, and $1,523 to the city for counseling and staff time.The defense challenged these costs as too high, and the judge agreed.
• The cost of the print. French ordered Folden to pay $1,667.37, the average sale price for other copies of the lithograph, instead of the $3,400 the city’s insurance company paid to owner Bud Shark.
• The damaged frame. The Plexiglas cover on the frame was damaged, but not the wooden frame itself. So the judge ordered Folden to pay the $259 repair estimate instead of the $1,825 paid to Shark by insurance.
The adjustor for Colorado Intergovernmental Risk Sharing Agency, the city’s insurance provider, testified that she did not investigate the amount of the claim filed by Shark and simply paid the full amount he requested.
• Counseling and staff time. The city will receive $1,064.76 for staff time dealing with the incident but not $300 for a group counseling session or $158.98 for staff time to attend that counseling. He denied the costs, in part because the six employees who sought counseling were not at the museum when the damage occurred. Folden must pay the restitution during the 18 months she is on probation. She was fired from her job after the incident but, according to her attorney, has since returned to work as a truck driver. - Pamela Dickman | Loveland Reporter-Herald