Sunday, November 15, 2009

Former shelter director Keough arrested - some people just don't learn

Can't let this sad, funny and infuriating event pass without comment: on Friday, Frank Keough, former director of the Worthington St. Shelter, was arrested in Rhode Island after attempting to steal his former furniture from his former house!  Some people just don't learn.

Keough is on probation after his conviction for defrauding the federal government by stealing funds from the shelter to use for a variety of personal uses.  All together, he served 30 months in prison, 20 of them pre-trial.  He could have been out on bail for most of that, but, as I recall, he was incarcerated pre-trial for attempting to contact the witnesses against him.

He had a lovely home on the Rhode Island coast which he built partly with the "help" of shelter residents.  (Can you imagine, living in that shelter, that you would have the right to say NO to Keough?)  He stole TVs,   furniture and more from the shelter, and when he failed to make payments on the $300,000 in restitution he was required to make, his home was seized by the feds.

I wrote a little about Frank in 2007.  He was a player with other big, corrupt plays in our recent scandal-ridden years in Springfield.  Now he has violated his probation.  Is he headed back to jail?

Some readers of this blog know I'm not a big fan of prison, especially for non-violent crimes.  Frank's crimes, of course, certainly did violence to the homeless and the residents of Springfield.  But what should we do with him now?

I'd like to urge those in charge to turn him over to a local non-profit.  We'll put him to work.  He could serve meals at Loaves and Fishes.  He could clean the toilets at Worthington St. Shelter. He could stand on the corner of State and Main with a sign announcing himself as a thief and a fool.  And at night he could sleep on City Hall steps, where he once "served" as city councilor.  Come on, Frank, we'll find a use for you.

Photo from Tommy Devine's site.

1 comment:

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