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Monday, November 10, 2008

Honesty




Contractor Bob Kitts was tearing walls out of a bathroom in an 83 year old house in Lake Erie, Cleveland in 2006 when he discovdered two green metal cashboxes hanging from a wire, suspended inside a wall.


Inside were white envelopes with the return address for "P. Dunne News Agency." Inside the envelopes was $US182,000 in old currency. Patrick Dunne was a wealthy businessman who stashed the money around the 1930’s Great Depression.


But Bob Kitts and homeowner Amanda Reece couldn’t agree on how to split the money.
She offered 10 per cent.
He wanted 40 per cent, then the twenty one descendants of Patrick Dunne got involved and they all wanted a share.


By then there was little left to claim.


"If these two individuals had sat down and resolved their disputes and divided the money, the heirs would have had no knowledge of it," said lawyer Gid Marcinkevicius, who represents the Dunne estate.


Kitts is often asked why he didn't keep his mouth shut and pocket the money. He says “I wasn’t raised that way.”