|Member of the Illinois House of Representatives
from the 43rd district
January 6, 2009 – March 18, 2014
|Preceded by||Ruth Munson|
|Succeeded by||Anna Moeller|
September 22, 1947 |
Piscataquis County, Maine
|Spouse(s)||Susan (married 1976)|
|Parents||Gertrude and Clyde Farnham|
|Occupation||Business owner, lobbyist, real estate developer, labor union official|
|Service/branch||United States Naval Reserve|
|Years of service||1964–1968|
Farnham was born in Piscataquis County, Maine and grew up in Bangor. According to an article in the Bangor Daily News, he graduated from Bangor High School in 1967, 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.
He became a commercial/industrial painting contractor for over 25 years, first working with other companies, then founding K&R Christopher in 1986. He was on the board of the Chicago Painting and Decorating Contractors of America (PDCA), was board president for the Finishing Contractors Association of Chicago and was involved in lobbying for the association. He also renovated the Elgin Dairy Company building into luxury condominiums.
Illinois House of Representatives
Farnham was in the Illinois House from January 2009 to March 2014. The district included portions of Elgin, Carpentersville, East Dundee and South Elgin. 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; Disability Services, Elementary & Secondary Education (and its Mandate Subcommittee), and Environment & Energy starting with the 97th General Assembly. He co-sponsored two bills to increase penalties for child pornography.
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".
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. At least two videos of child pornography were found on Farnham's Elgin legislative office computer. In addition to two videos showing victims as young as 2 or 3, investigators found over 2,750 images of child pornography.
Farnham pleaded 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." 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, but "without a lung transplant, it's likely he's going to die in the penitentiary". The court continued Farnham's home confinement, which he had been on since his arrest, with stipulations that he not go on his condominium's patio or use the Internet, until his March 2015 sentencing hearing.[needs update]
On March 19, 2015, Farnham was sentenced to eight years in prison. U.S. District Judge Edmond E. Chang also ordered Farnham to pay a $30,000 fine. He surrendered to the Federal Bureau of Prisons on May 19, 2015, to begin serving his sentence.
In February 2016 Farnham was sued by two minors who claim they appear in child pornography found on his computer.
- Russell, Eric (January 12, 2009). "Bangor native wading into Illinois politics". Bangor Daily News. Bangor, Maine. Archived from the original on January 14, 2009. Retrieved 2014-12-15.
- "Keith Farnham". Citizens to Elect Keith Farnham. Archived from the original on 2012-02-20. Retrieved 2014-12-16.
- Meisner, Jason (2014-12-05). "Ex-state Rep. Keith Farnham pleads guilty to child porn". Chicago Tribune (online ed.). Retrieved 2014-12-15.
- 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.
- 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.
- Meisner, Jason (April 28, 2014). "Child porn charges filed against ex-state Rep. Farnham". Chicago Tribune (online ed.). Retrieved 2014-12-15.
- 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".
- "Representative Keith Farnham (D)". Springfield, Illinois: Illinois General Assembly. Retrieved 2014-12-15.
- "District Profile". Illinois House Democratic Majority. Archived from the original on 2012-05-11. Retrieved 2014-12-15.
- "Representative Keith Farnham (D), 43rd District 96th General Assembly: Representative Committees". Springfield, Illinois: Illinois General Assembly. Retrieved 2014-12-15.
- "Representative Keith Farnham (D), 43rd District 97th General Assembly: Representative Committees". Springfield, Illinois: Illinois General Assembly. Retrieved 2014-12-15.
- Rogers, Phil (Dec 8, 2014). "Former State Rep. Keith Farnham Pleads Guilty to Child Porn Charges". NBCChicago.com. NBCUniversal Media. Retrieved 2014-12-15.
- 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.
- 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.
- Vitello, Barbara (March 19, 2015). "Farnham apologizes, gets 8 years in prison for child porn". Daily Herald (online ed.). Retrieved March 22, 2015.
- Janssen, Kim (March 19, 2015). "Ex-State Rep. Keith Farnham gets 8 years for child porn trafficking". Chicago Sun Times. Retrieved March 22, 2015.
- Seidel, Joe (February 11, 2016). "Ex-Rep. Keith Farnham sued by two child porn victims". Chicago Sun Times. Retrieved May 24, 2016.