Art Heist Action
The two Pebble Beach men who claimed to be victims of a massive art heist sue the County.
Monday, October 4, 2010
Angelo Amadio and Dr. Ralph Kennaugh are back in the public eye.
Last fall, the two men reported what would have been the second largest art heist in the US from their Pebble Beach home, including work by Jackson Pollock, Joan Miro, and Vincent Van Gogh, among others.
Shortly after the report was made, Sheriff's officials said Amadio and Kennaugh were suspects—at the very least of making a false report to law enforcement.
Now, the two are suing Monterey County, Sheriff Mike Kanalakis and Sheriff's Office spokesman Mike Richards for defamation, arguing that the Sheriff's Office made libelous statements about them. According to a complaint filed Sept. 30 in Monterey Superior Court, Richards said, "the heist appears to be something else: a scam by one or both of the alleged victims", one of 26 statements that Amadio and Kennaugh contend was false and damaging to them.
The two men further allege a Sheriff's Detective used an anti-gay slur in referring to Amadio and Kennaugh, which Sheriff's officials have denied.
Sheriff's officials weren't alone in casting doubt on Amadio and Kennaugh's story when it made worldwide headlines last year. The director of the center where Pollock's archives are kept called their statements "outlandish", saying a Jackson Pollock painting like the one the men reported stolen was not in the artist's catalogue raisonne or inventory of his work.
Amadio and Kennaugh plan a news conference at the Monterey Courthouse Oct. 5.