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Accused retiree was apparently upset over benefit cuts

By Seth Burkett 340-2355

A court document shed light on the case of a retired chemical engineer Decatur police arrested on charges he made threats against the local Solutia plant Saturday.

According to an affidavit supporting the warrant for Paul Funk's arrest, the 69-year-old Decatur resident told a security guard at the facility's front entrance that he was extremely unhappy with Solutia because the company was trying to cut retiree health benefits.

Funk retired in 2001 after working for the company more than 37 years.

Out of Morgan County Jail on $750 bond, Funk declined comment Tuesday.

According to the affidavit sworn by Detective Chris Jones in Morgan County District Court, Funk told security guard Heather Hill that a person could easily enter the facility and cause damage.

He went on to say he had two years experience in the Army and knew how to use certain types of guns and explosives.

According to the affidavit, Funk also criticized Jews and homosexuals.

After Funk left the guard shack, Hill notified her superior, Lisa Naccarato, out of concern Funk would return and "do something serious to hurt someone."

Naccarato elevated the plant's maritime security level from Level 1 to Level 2, ordering the immediate closing of all non-essential gates, increased patrols, closing of guard shack doors and calling in off-duty guards for additional security.

Dan Jenkins, a Solutia spokesman, said plant security remained heightened Tuesday. Jenkins would not discuss particulars of security changes.

"When a threat such as this is made, we are required by federal regulations to report that, and we've placed that in the hands of local authorities. Based on information from authorities, we do believe that was the best measure to take, to heighten security to make sure that our employees and our plant neighbors are kept safe," said Jenkins.

Jenkins declined to talk about the specifics of Saturday's incident.

Decatur police, who issued a press release following Funk's arrest Monday on a charge of making a terrorist threat, declined to speak about the incident in further detail. Solutia filed for bankruptcy in 2003.

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