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Former Mount Washington employee guilty of theft

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By The Staff

MOUNT WASHINGTON - An employee who had city equipment in a storage building on his property could face seven years in prison.

A Bullitt Circuit jury recently found Daniel Lee Campanell, 31, guilty of receiving stolen property over $300 and of being a persistent felony offender.

The evidence was that Campanell took the city equipment and was going to sell the scrap metal for money.

During the two-day trial, the jury gave the defendant one year on the criminal charge but enhanced that to seven years for his previous felony convictions.

Det. Buddy Stump of the Mount Washington Police Department said he was working on a burglary case off Waterford Road and Campanell would eventually enter a guilty plea on a misdemeanor charge.

And during that investigation, Stump noticed items that looked like they belonged to the city water department, where Campanell worked. He knew that the fittings and connections weren’t used for residential property.

Although Stump said he knew of Campanell’s background, that had nothing to do with his investigation of the theft of city equipment. In fact, Stump said Campanell was hired and working for the city before he was aware of the situation.

Works foreman Ronnie Fick said on Dec. 11, 2008, items had been taken from the city’s inventory of parts.

When alerted of the situation, Fick talked with Campanell, who told him the items were on his work truck and he took them off.

However, Fick said there was no reason for they type of equipment to be on the city works truck. He said the parts were to stay in the shop and not on the trucks, unless needed for a repair job.

When he viewed the parts in the storage building, Fick said they were disassembled. He felt the employee was about to scrap the material.

Once the parts are taken apart, Fick said they can’t be put back together.

In taking the stand as the lone witness for the defense, Campanell admitted that he was a convicted felon and he did two other side jobs, which was allowed. However, he admitted using city equipment on a side job to get the customer back in water service.

His testimony was that after doing a side job on Dec. 6, 2008, he took the city bucket of works equipment and placed it in the storage building and forgot to return it to the city truck.

He told defense attorney Steven Wright that he had no intention of selling the scrap metal.

However, under cross-examination from prosecutor Mike Ferguson, Campanell admitted that this was not his first problem with the law.

In the misdemeanor case off Waterford Road, Campanell said he saw an old condenser on the property in some weeds. He thought the owner wanted to get rid of it, so he took it.

Campanell said he knew that Stump was upset about his employment with the city.

He told the jury the last time he scrapped material had been about six years ago. However, there would be problems ahead.

In 2006, Campanell entered a guilty plea on a theft by unlawful taking charge for selling cooper from Salt River Electric.

And in 2006, a Nelson County engineering firm was hit by Campanell on copper theft.

The jury gave Campanell one year on the theft charge but that was enhanced to seven years due to the prior convictions.