HAMMOND, Ind. (AP)
— Authorities say a scrap-metal dealer asked them repeatedly for permission
and they told him no, but he did it anyway, dismantling part of a historic
railroad bridge and selling the metal for $18,000.
Kenneth Morrison of
Whiting was indicted last month on a federal charge of interstate
transportation of stolen property, court records show. Morrison was
operating as T&K Metals in 2014 when he allegedly dismantled the shuttered
Monon Bridge, built in 1909 over the Grand Calumet River in Hammond.
The bridge was the
last remnant of the Hammond Meatpacking Co., one of the city's first
industries. It was one of only two bascule bridges remaining in the region.
asked city officials in 1991 for permission to purchase and dismantle the
bridge, but his request was denied. He approached the Board of Public Works
and Safety again in September 2014 for permission to purchase the bridge,
"Between in or
about December 2014 and continuing through in or about January 2015, without
authority from the city of Hammond, and without any permit, the defendant
dismantled a portion of the bridge and transported and sold the metal to
scrap dealers," the indictment alleges.
Department of Natural Resources conservation officer ordered Morrison to
stop work on the bridge after discovering he didn't have a permit.
his actions in a 2015 interview, saying his removal of the structure saved
the city money.
He surrendered to
authorities last week and was released on a $20,000 bond, court records
Morrison had been
sentenced to a year in prison in 1995 and ordered to pay $50,000 after he
attempted to salvage a metal tank, releasing 2,000 gallons of waste oil into
the Schuylkill River in Pennsylvania and another 3,000 into the ground,
Hammond Historical Society officials said.