Veterans’ memorial legislation moves ahead

Len Greene

HARTFORD — Legislation proposed by Valley legislators to increase the penalties on the desecration of war and veterans’ memorials is moving forward.

The Select Committee on Veterans Affairs recently gave approval for the bill pass out of the public hearing process to continue the legislative procedure, according to a release issued by the office of state Rep. Len Greene (R-105).

Under the proposed legislation, a person found guilty of intentionally defacing, mutilating or destroying a memorial or monument will be faced with a class D felony and shall be subject to a $5,000 fine.

The bill also declares that a person who is caught knowingly possessing, purchasing or selling a stolen war or veterans’ memorial will also be charged with the same class D felony and a $5,000 fine.

“I’m very happy to see that the Veterans Committee saw this issue as an important one and saw fit to address it appropriately,” Greene said in a news release. “The additions to the bill made by the committee, specifically the provision on individuals who knowingly buy or sell these monuments, have improved the bill significantly. Overall, this bill creates a more justifiable punishment for those who commit these intolerable crimes in our community.”

Greene proposed the bill after the towns of Ansonia, Derby, and Shelton were victimized by thieves who stole war memorial monuments.