The district said it began to look into records to prove who owned the burial plots where the monument stood and verify that it was approved by the board, The Orange County Register reported Friday.
Cemetery District General Manager Tim Deutsch said last month that the district had contacted the Orange County chapter of the Sons of Confederate Veterans to discuss altering the monument but had stopped hearing from the group after several attempts. The district’s board then ordered the monument’s removal.
Robert Williams, who leads the Orange County chapter and statewide division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, told the newspaper that the chapter has a different perspective of the dispute.
“Nobody put it there in the middle of the night – there was a huge public ceremony,” said Williams.
He said there are plenty of records of the monument’s addition to the cemetery and that cemetery district leaders had chosen the monument’s location. He said he believes the district’s actions of seizing and removing the marker were illegal.
Deutsch said it’s costing the district an estimated $15,000 to remove and store the granite pillar, and Williams’ group would have to reimburse the district to place it back.