It's been almost four years since police seized expensive items such as a grandfather clock and paintings from the Groveland home of Paul Galzerano.
Some time before that, Galzerano stole the items from Beverly Hospital and Northeast Health System, when he was associate vice president there, investigators said.
Now, the items are about to return to Northeast, a part of the newly merged Lahey Health System, the nonprofit parent corporation of Gloucester's Addison Gilbert Hospital.
The stolen items, held as evidence in Galzerano's case, were to be moved Wednesday from Stor-U-Storage in Byfield to Beverly Hospital on Wednesday, but the move was postponed due to rain. The items had been kept in the storage unit since Sept. 30, 2008.
Groveland police gave the key to the unit to Lahey and Beverly Hospital officials Wednesday, and hospital representatives met with police officers at the storage unit to go over the items.
"We are thankful to the Groveland Police for getting the items back to us," said Gerald Mackillop, public relations manager with Northeast, and with Addison Gilbert and Beverly hospitals. "Our plans are to put them in their just place."
It was not clear Thursday whether any items had yet been returned to Addison Gilbert.
Galzerano was found guilty last month of four counts of larceny and two counts of commercial bribery. The attorney general's office estimated that Galzerano stole $400,000 worth of items.
The most valuable item was the antique grandfather clock.
Other items included an antique chair and ottoman set, two seascape paintings by Rockport artist Stanley Woodward paintings and two sets of privacy screens with oriental designs. The works of Woodward (1890-1970) sell at auction in the range of $10,000 to $15,000.
The discovery that art and antiques belonging to Addison Gilbert Hospital were stolen in 2008 sent ripples through Cape Ann's artistic community, with local artists and other residents concerned about hundreds of works in the custody of Northeast Health System ever since it took over Addison Gilbert Hospital in the mid 1990s.
According to some estimates, Addison Gilbert Hospital, which opened its doors in 1897, has been presented with some 300 pieces of artwork over the years.
A longstanding Cape Ann tradition — at least until the time of AGH's 1994 merger with Beverly Hospital into Northeast Health — held that artists or residents would donate artwork to the hospital as a thank you for services rendered, in memory of family member, or as a gift from an estate.
Reports of the theft prompted local residents to worry about the fate of Addison Gilbert's artistic legacy. The jewel of the Addison Gilbert collection remains a painting by 19th-century Luminist painter Fitz Henry Lane of Gloucester, whose art sells for millions of dollars on auction. The scene is of Gloucester Harbor. The painting has been on loan to the Cape Ann Historical Museum for nearly half a century.
Beverly Quint, a member of Partners for Addison Gilbert Hospital, a grass roots organization founded in 1995 that serves as local watchdog, said Thursday she has ongoing concerns that the resources donated and bequeathed to Addison Gilbert Hospital remain in the community.
The recovered items were found at Galzerano's home in August 2008, after police searched his house due to a separate incident. Groveland Officer James Morton was looking for a handgun after Galzerano allegedly threatened two neighbors with it. The gun was not found, but Morton found items that matched the description of those stolen from Beverly Hospital, police said.
The antiques reportedly were purchased by Galzerano at an antique shop in Essex, and were supposed to end up in the hospital as part of a $60 million renovation there which Galzerano supervised from 2003 to 2006.
Instead, the items ended up in Galzerano's home.
Some long-time staffers at Addison Gilbert Hospital remembered an antique grandfather clock that used to be in the medical library more than 30 years ago and wondered if some of those antiques came from Cape Ann as ell. One of the TV news clips about the story in 2008 also showed a box labeled "Addison Gilbert Hospital" being removed from Galzerano's house.
In addition to the larceny charges, Galzerano also bribed hospital contractors to do work on his home and pay his credit card and mortgage bills in exchange for hospital contracts, investigators said.
The trial ended last month and Galzerano was sentenced to 18 months in prison and two years of probation. He was also ordered to perform 20 hours a week of community service at a homeless shelter in New Bedford when he is released from jail.
Gail McCarthy can be reached at 978-283-7000, x3445, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.