Keith Farnham

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Keith Farnham
Keith Farnham 2009-12 brick background.jpg
Member of the Illinois House of Representatives
from the 43rd district
In office
January 6, 2009 (2009-01-06) – March 18, 2014 (2014-03-18)
Preceded by Ruth Munson[1]
Succeeded by Anna Moeller
Personal details
Born (1947-09-22) September 22, 1947 (age 67)[2]
Piscataquis County, Maine[2]
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Susan (married 1976)[2]
Children 1 son[2]
Parents Gertrude and Clyde Farnham[2]
Residence Elgin, Illinois
Occupation Business owner, lobbyist, real estate developer, labor union official
Military service
Allegiance United States
Service/branch United States Naval Reserve[2]
Years of service 1964–1968

Keith Farnham is a Democratic former member of the Illinois House of Representatives who resigned from office and pled guilty to distributing child pornography in 2014.[3]

Early life[edit]

Farnham was born in Piscataquis County, Maine[1][2][4] and grew up in Bangor. According to an article in the Bangor Daily News, he graduated from Bangor High School in 1967,[1] but his 2008 campaign website stated that Farnham was active duty in the United States Naval Reserve from 1964 to 1968, travelling to the Mediterranean and receiving an honorable discharge.[2]

Labor career[edit]

He became a commercial/industrial painting contractor for over 25 years,[1][3][5][6][7] first working with other companies, then founding K&R Christopher in 1986.[2] He was on the board of the Chicago Painting and Decorating Contractors of America (PDCA),[2] was board president for the Finishing Contractors Association of Chicago[5] and was involved in lobbying for the association.[1] He also renovated the Elgin Dairy Company building into luxury condominiums.[2]

Illinois House of Representatives[edit]

In November 2008, He defeated two-term Republican Ruth Munson in the heavily-Republican 43rd representative district of the Illinois House of Representatives, winning by 322 votes.[1]

Farnham was in the Illinois House from January 2009 to March 2014.[8] The district included portions of Elgin, Carpentersville, East Dundee and South Elgin.[9] His House committee assignments included Aging, Appropriations (Human Services), Consumer Protection, Education Reform, State Government Administration, and Veterans' Affairs starting with the 96th General Assembly;[10] Disability Services, Elementary & Secondary Education (and its Mandate Subcommittee), and Environment & Energy starting with the 97th General Assembly.[11] He co-sponsored two bills to increase penalties for child pornography.[3]

On March 13, 2014, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations raided Farnham's home and his district office in Elgin to execute federal search warrants.[12]

Farnham ran unopposed in the 2014 Democratic primary, winning on Tuesday, March 18, but resigned the following day, saying that he had been "battling serious health issues for a number of years".[5][13]

Criminal case[edit]

On March 19, federal agents also took Farnham's State House chamber laptop. On March 20, the search warrant was made public.[14]

On April 28, 2014, Farnham was charged. After receiving a tip that a Yahoo! e-mail address was being used to trade child pornography, investigators found chat logs from June 2013 to January 2014, in which the user bragged in detail about a sexual encounter with a 6-year-old girl and said that "12 is about as old as i can handle". The account's use was traced back to Farnham's home Comcast Internet service.[6] At least two videos of child pornography were found on Farnham's Elgin legislative office computer.[6] In addition to two videos showing victims as young as 2 or 3, investigators found over 2,750 images of child pornography.[3]

Farnham pled guilty on December 5, 2014. Farnham's attorney said that Farnham's details of a 6-year-old girl were fictional and that Farnham "has never, never abused any child, never had any physical contact with a child."[3] The attorney also said that Farnham has a "complex set of medical problems" including bladder cancer and hepatitis C, as well as pulmonary fibrosis for which Farnham was seeking to begin an experimental drug treatment,[12] but "without a lung transplant, it's likely he's going to die in the penitentiary".[3] The court continued Farnham's home confinement, which he had been on since his arrest,[12] with stipulations that he not go on his condominium's patio or use the Internet, until his March 2015 sentencing hearing.[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f Russell, Eric (January 12, 2009). "Bangor native wading into Illinois politics". Bangor Daily News (Bangor, Maine). Archived from the original on 2009-01-14. Retrieved 2014-12-15. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Keith Farnham". Citizens to Elect Keith Farnham. Archived from the original on 2012-02-20. Retrieved 2014-12-16. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Meisner, Jason (2014-12-05). "Ex-state Rep. Keith Farnham pleads guilty to child porn". Chicago Tribune (online ed.). Retrieved 2014-12-15. 
  4. ^ The 2008 Citizens to Elect Keith Farnham biography says that Farnham was born in Greenville, Maine. The January 2009 Bangor Daily News article says Shirley, Maine.
  5. ^ a b c Baer, Stephanie K. (March 24, 2014). "Elgin officials shocked by child porn investigation of ex-Rep. Farnham". Chicago Tribune (online ed.). Retrieved 2014-12-15. 
  6. ^ a b c Meisner, Jason (April 28, 2014). "Child porn charges filed against ex-state Rep. Farnham". Chicago Tribune (online ed.). Retrieved 2014-12-15. 
  7. ^ The March 24, 2014 and April 28, 2014 Chicago Times articles say Farnham ran a "painting business in Elgin". The December 5, 2014 Chicago Times article says Farnham ran "an Elgin printing business".
  8. ^ "Representative Keith Farnham (D)". Springfield, Illinois: Illinois General Assembly. Retrieved 2014-12-15. 
  9. ^ "District Profile". Illinois House Democratic Majority. Archived from the original on 2012-05-11. Retrieved 2014-12-15. 
  10. ^ "Representative Keith Farnham (D), 43rd District 96th General Assembly: Representative Committees". Springfield, Illinois: Illinois General Assembly. Retrieved 2014-12-15. 
  11. ^ "Representative Keith Farnham (D), 43rd District 97th General Assembly: Representative Committees". Springfield, Illinois: Illinois General Assembly. Retrieved 2014-12-15. 
  12. ^ a b c Rogers, Phil (Dec 8, 2014). "Former State Rep. Keith Farnham Pleads Guilty to Child Porn Charges". NBCChicago.com (NBCUniversal Media). Retrieved 2014-12-15. 
  13. ^ Landau, Joel (March 22, 2014). "Illinois legislator — who sponsored TWO bills to boost child pornography penalties — under investigation for possession of kiddie porn". New York Daily News (online ed.). Retrieved 2014-12-15. 
  14. ^ Long, Ray; Zurick, Maura (March 21, 2014). "Search warrant for former Elgin lawmaker's office sought child porn". Chicago Tribune (online ed.). Retrieved 2014-12-15.  |chapter= ignored (help)

External links[edit]