- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 3, 2019

A North Carolina judge ruled against returning a Confederate monument back to courthouse grounds Monday, more than a week after the statue was removed.

Superior Court Judge Susan Bray dismissed a lawsuit brought against Chatham County by the United Daughters of the Confederacy — whose local chapter donated the statute in 1907 — to block the statue’s removal.

“I think it is implicit in her ruling that the monument is owned by the Daughters of the Confederacy, not the county,” said Nick Ellis, an attorney for the county, reported WRAL.

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The Chatham County Board of Commissioners voted in August to have the statue removed and gave the UDC time to decide where the statue would be relocated, provided it was moved to private property.

But when the UDC did not act, the statue was declared a “public trespass” and taken down on Nov. 19.

The UDC argued in court Monday that a 2015 law prevented a statue being removed from public grounds and advocated it be returned to its original resting spot of over 100 years.

Local UDC president Barbara Pugh declined to comment about potential next steps.

County Manager Dan LaMontagne told WRAL that the county spent $44,000 to have the statue removed and is currently storing it in a warehouse for $300 a day. 

He added that the resulting protests in response to the statue’s removal, both for and against, led to $140,000 being spent on security.

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