Calif. county seeks to toss lawsuit over art heist

A California county wants a judge to dismiss a lawsuit by two art collectors who accused sheriff's officials of defaming them while investigating the theft of their artwork.

Ralph Kennaugh and Angelo Amadio reported in 2009 that millions of dollars worth of works by Jackson Pollock, Van Gogh and others was stolen from their home. During the investigation, authorities suggested to media that the pair may not have been entirely truthful about the heist.

No arrests have been made in the theft.

Kennaugh and Amadio sued the Monterey County Sheriff's Office last month for painting them as "criminals, liars and scam artists."

The county's attorney argues the lawsuit should be tossed because officials are protected by absolute immunity, which protects their actions during the discharge of an official duty.


Information from: The Monterey County Herald,