New York artifact thief gets new job at military museum

Wednesday November 14, 2012

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. (AP) -- A man who did prison time for stealing hundreds of items from the New York State Archives has landed a job at the state’s military museum, home to thousands of artifacts dating back to the Revo lutionary War.

Former state archivist Daniel Lorello is working in the New York State Military Museum’s bookstore, which is run by a volunteer support group. The Times Union of Albany first reported Lorello’s hiring.

Lorello isn’t a state employee and doesn’t have access to collections, said Eric Durr, a spokesman for the state Division of Military and Naval Affairs, which operates the Saratoga Springs military museum.

The volunteer group, Friends of the New York State Military Museum, provides docents for the museum and operates the store. The nonprofit organization isn’t re quired to consult the state on its hiring, Durr said in referring to the group as "a separate organization that made a separate and independent decision."

The friends group is chartered by the state Department of Education, Lorello’s former employer. He worked for more than two decades as an archivist and records management specialist for the State Archives, which falls under the education agency’s umbrella.

In early 2008, he was arrested and charged with grand larceny after being accused of stealing hundreds of documents and other artifacts. Authorities said he sold many of them on eBay.

He pleaded guilty later that year and was sentenced to two to six years in prison. Lorello was released in April 2010, and he made nearly $130,000 in restitution and handed over his personal collection to the state. Officials said they recovered more than 1,600 items he stole from the archives over a 10-year period starting in 1997.

The Times Union reported that Lorello was hired to run the military museum’s bookstore over the summer by his longtime friend Lance Ing mire, president of the friends group and a Civil War re-enactor and collector.

Phone and email messages left with him weren’t immediately returned.

Lorello, a 59-year-old expert in Civil War documents and photographs, currently works on the same floor where the military museum’s main exhibits are displayed. The museum home is to a vast collection of Civil War artifacts, including photos, uniforms, weapons and the nation’s largest collection of battle flags. Many of the museum’s artifacts, some dating back centuries, are kept in storage areas one floor below the bookstore.


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