Posted Sep 12, 2007 07:48 pm CDT
A distinctive life-size mule mascot that has distinguished a Scranton, Pa., law firm for the past four years has been stolen from its front porch.
Police are still looking for “Justice,” as the fiberglass mule is known, and the lawyers at Scartelli, Distasio & Kowalski feel a bit lost without their mascot, reports the Scranton Times-Tribune. It shouldn’t be difficult for authorities to identify the statue if it is found: Commissioned at a cost of about $3,000, the blindfolded mule reportedly was last seen garbed in a black robe, dangling the scales of justice from its mouth.
“Obviously, it’s some kind of prank,” says attorney Melissa Scartelli. “We’re upset about it, and were proud to have the Justice Mule for what it represented. We feel justice is blind and he was a symbol of that, and a conversation piece.”
The theft caught the attention of local radio personality Steve Corbett, who featured the “Hunt for Justice,” on his WILK-AM talk show Wednesday afternoon.
Scartelli told ABAJournal.com that a segment also ran on a local TV station.
Scartelli commissioned the mule for her firm as part of the Miles of Mules public art project in Pennsylvania. The mule was selected in recognition of the state’s rich anthracite coal history.
Whoever took the mule had to be determined: Scartelli says it had been vandalized before, so she had it moved to the front of her building and bolted to the concrete. While she and the members of her firm see the humor in all of the attention, she says she takes the theft seriously.
“It lends itself to humor because of what it is and because of its name, but it isn’t [funny],” she says.
Indeed, because of the value of the mule, the theft could be considered a felony, she notes. “These are the type of things that ruin people’s careers and prevent people from getting into law schools.”
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