When Frankie Keough was sentenced in three years in federal prison in 2007 for stealing from Friends of the Homeless, the Springfield shelter he ran, the disgraced former city councilor offered an apology before the court that, in the words of Springfield Republican reporter Jack Flynn, “expressed a mix of anguish and self-contempt.”
“I’ve asked myself how I arrived at a place like this,” Keough told the court. “Quite frankly, I don’t have an answer.”
Now Keough faces a whole new set of questions, about how he landed behind bars once again. Early last Friday morning, Keough (who’s already out of prison, having served some of his time before his sentencing) was arrested in Charleston, R.I., for allegedly stealing a dinette set from the beach house he used to own there. As part of his corruption case, Keough had admitted to having shelter residents and on-the-clock employees work on the $700,000 house, and to stealing furniture and other items from the shelter for the house. He also pleaded guilty to extortion, witness tampering, obstruction of justice and tax evasion.
Under an agreement with prosecutors, Keough was to be allowed to keep his beach house if he paid restitution for his crimes. When he failed to do so, the government seized the house, which was auctioned off earlier this month.
Last week, Keough was caught by local police loading tables and chairs into a truck outside the house, according a Republican article by Patrick Johnson. A second man, who was helping Keough, ran off when the police arrived; Keough told the cops he was a passing stranger who had offered his help.
Keough’s attorney, former Springfield City Councilor Danny Kelly, told the Republican it was all “a big misunderstanding.” Keough was just retrieving his rightful property, Kelly said, and had been led to believe by conversations with U.S. Marshals that he could come get it any time.
If Keough was taking the furniture with the marshals’ OK, why would he would need to break into the house to get it? “It may be that his method of retrieval was not appropriate,” Kelly said.
That’s not all that seems inappropriate about Keough’s recent Rhode Island adventure. After his release from prison last year, he was sentenced to three years probation, which included a condition that he not leave Massachusetts without notifying his probation officer, Johnson reported.