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Opening Arguments

Retirement plan

I heard a lot of people talking about this story today, along the lines of, "What else don't we know yet?"

Jene A. Chadwell is accused of stealing axle assemblies, bolts, bearings, brackets, discs, gears, nuts and plates. Chadwell, who didn't return a request for comment Monday placed through a relative, has been charged with receiving stolen property.

Chadwell, who retired from Dana Corp. in 2003 after some 30 years with the company, had a unique definition of piecework, according to an arrest affidavit. Investigators needed a semitrailer to haul away the $130,000 worth of parts they say Chadwell stole and kept in a 40-by-80-feet pole barn in Columbia City before selling them on eBay.

The gist of the comments was "how can somebody walk off with that much stuff without anybody else noticing?" In other words, will we see the arrest of an accomplice soon, or the resignation or firing of someone because of sheer incompetence? Stay tuned.


Wed, 09/10/2008 - 11:11am

Depends at what level the "accomplice" was working at. When I was at the Ft Wayne plant there were a couple of cases of misappropriation of funds by people working in the personnel office. One involved the tuition refund program and the other was related to insurance. Neither was arrested, although one person was fired. The other got a "sideways promotion". we also had a couple of guys who were caught trying to sneak things through the back fence--they were fired on the spot. I guess they weren't prosecuted because they didn't actually get away with anything. Never could figure why anyone would jeopardize his future and a good paying job--although maybe he was looking ahead to when Dana tried to dump on all their retirees. The article didn't say at which plant the thefts occured, but there was a lot of open land behind the Ft Wayne plant, and access to fork trucks--also less people working at night. They used to throw bad parts away by the tubful, maybe off size, rusty, or from a spill in the heat treat furnaces. Anyone buying the parts could be buying junk. But you're right, one person couldn't steal that much stuff alone, and it must have taken years.