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SOUTHWEST MUSEUM FILES LAWSUIT AGAINST DR. PATRICK HOULIHAN

 SOUTHWEST MUSEUM FILES LAWSUIT AGAINST DR. PATRICK HOULIHAN
 LOS ANGELES, April 9 /PRNewswire/ -- The following is being issued by Robert B. Wolcott Jr. Inc. on behalf of Southwest Museum:
 The Southwest Museum has filed a lawsuit in the Los Angeles Superior Court charging former Museum Executive Director Patrick T. Houlihan with secretly removing valuable items from the museum and converting them to his own use.
 In its filing today, the museum estimates the 127 missing items have a value in excess of $2.2 million. The suit seeks to recover possession of the items and, alternatively, seeks a judgment for its damages, with interest. The suit also seeks damages in the amount of $50,000 for time and monies expended by the museum staff, the board of trustees and outside consultants in pursuit of the invaluable Native American Indian artifacts. Punitive damages also are sought, the amount to be determined at trial.
 The museum's suit charges that, on or after Sept. 1, 1981, Houlihan, in taking the 127 items, knowingly violated museum regulations regarding the de-accessioning -- or removal -- of the museum's collection materials. Further, the suit claims, Houlihan removed, altered or fabricated museum records concerning the missing items in order to conceal his conversion of those properties to his own use. The actions taken by Houlihan, the suit charges, were "willful, wanton, malicious and oppressive."
 Houlihan served as director of the Southwest Museum from September 1981 to November 1987, at which time he resigned. He currently serves as director of the Millicent Rogers Museum in Taos, N.M.
 The discovery that the valuable items were missing from the museum's collection occurred in 1989 in connection with a complete inventory of the collection. On receiving this information from its chief curator, and subsequently learning that certain items had crossed state lines, the museum contacted the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The FBI then launched a lengthy investigation into the matter and turned its findings over to the Los Angeles County District Attorney's office. On March 31, 1992, the Los Angeles County Grand Jury handed down an indictment against Houlihan, charging him with 11 counts of theft and embezzlement.
 -0- 4/9/92
 /CONTACT: Michael Heumann of Nossman, Guthner, Knox & Elliott, 213-612-7800, for Southwest Museum/ CO: Southwest Museum ST: California IN: SU:


DM-JL -- LA007 -- 6801 04/09/92 13:04 EDT
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Date:Apr 9, 1992
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