MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A former Wisconsin Capitol Police officer is accused of stealing and selling a state-owned painting by Wisconsin artist Aaron Bohrod.
Travis Sackett, 32, of Tempe, Arizona, was charged Friday with theft and misconduct in public office, both felonies, the Wisconsin State Journal (http://bit.ly/1PsbumZ ) reported. He's scheduled to appear in court Thursday.
According to the complaint, Sackett was a Capitol Police officer from March 2009 to February 2011. He worked nights at the governor's mansion in Maple Bluff.
A Bohrod painting called "Gold Fantasy Box" was discovered missing from storage at the residence last month and recovered from a Connecticut art dealer. The complaint says the painting was sold in February 2011.
A state employee tracked the missing painting down on the Internet. Joan Sample, who works for the state Department of Administration, was hired to audit and catalog state-owned property at the governor's residence. All of the artwork was accounted for except a piece by Bohrod, a former UW-Madison artist-in-residence who died in 1992. The painting in its gold and velvet frame was missing from the security room of the residence, the complaint said.
Sample looked on the Internet and found the painting for sale by a Connecticut art dealer.
The art dealer who bought the painting said he paid "about $2,000" for it and had it for sale for $3,000. Donald Barese, of Don Barese Fine Art and Antiques in Hamden, Connecticut, said he had the painting up for sale for four years but, "It didn't sell."
The surreal-style painting features a bright gold-colored chest with gold-colored toys and a white glove. Barese said the man who sold the painting to him said he bought it at an estate sale for $400.
Capitol Police referred calls from the newspaper to a supervisor who would not be available until Monday. A spokesman for the Department of Administration, which controls the property, was unaware of the case. It was unclear Saturday if Sackett has an attorney who could comment on his behalf.
Information from: Wisconsin State Journal, http://www.madison.com/wsj