Civic associations still waiting for justice after thefts
Former president charged with stealing thousands from each
Two East Bank civic organizations are still waiting for justice after they say Chris Kennedy stole thousands of dollars from them in 2010.
Last spring, Country Cottage Civic Association members say they discovered that their president, Kennedy, had stolen $42,738 from the organization. Shortly after Kennedy’s arrest members of the Montz Civic Association, where he was also president, discovered that $2,164 had been fraudulently taken from their club as well.
Almost a year later, Kennedy has had his court date pushed back five times and the two groups are still waiting for justice to be served.
“We’re disappointed in how long he’s been allowed to drag out this process,” said Michelle Langley, acting president of the Montz Civic Association. “I’ve actually attended all but one of his status hearings so that he knows we have not forgotten. What he did was wrong and we would like our money back. We’re working very closely with the District Attorney…and we’re committed to seeing justice.
“A felony was committed and we would like to see a punishment.”
While Kennedy has already paid back $39,897.46 in restitution to the Country Cottage group, he still owes each organization more than $2,000.
Country Cottage president Lainey Vicknair said that her organization has also been keeping up with Kennedy’s court hearings.
“He has returned about 95 percent of the money that was reported missing when we took over,” Vicknair said. “The residents are still very upset with how things went down…I think most people are hoping that justice is brought upon him.”
Kennedy’s newest court date has been set for June 22, 2011.
But Kennedy’s arrest was not all bad news for the organizations. Langley said that the Montz Civic Association is stronger after having been through the ordeal.
“We banded together and I feel that we became stronger. Since he’s been gone, participation in our meetings has risen, volunteerism has risen,” Langley said. “Whereas Chris took everything and kept secrets, now everyone takes part and contributes.
“We’ve had more success this year than in the past because everyone was collaborating.”
Langley said her group put on very successful food and toy drives last year because the community came together to help out.
“Everyone came out and gave. The donations were all from Montz, to Montz,” she said.
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