So busy with the Foley fallout I missed that politic0-playing engineer Bill Keith had died. Buddy Nevins waxes poetic about Keith in today's newspaper.
Keith was, indeed, a character, a man who came across with a regular-guy approach, had a slight twang in his voice, and punctuated every other sentence with a crush of five words: "You know wha'mean?" Nevins paints him as an altruistic do-gooder, but that was all show. Every donation and contribution he ever gave was aimed at helping one person to profit:
Bill Keith. At heart, Keith was a gamer, a wheeler-dealer, and he was corrupt as the day is long, someone who helped make Broward County as crooked a place as they is.
One example was his relationship with Bill Griffin, the unbelievable corrupt former Pompano mayor. When Keith sensed that a politician could be bought, he marketed like an m-fer and he had Griffin wrapped up like a sold fish. He played a role in getting the disgraced mayor a job and was deeply tied into the sordid International Swimming Hall of Fame bid in that city (wherein Keith, Griffin, and reviled developer Michael Swerdlow were trying to steal a public park on the beach to build monstrous condos on the sand). I wrote a couple of stories about Keith at the time (check here and here).
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Look, I don't like to speak ill of the recently deceased, but Nevins' article is a bad joke (as well as South of the Suwannee's take -- okay, Southie, you political hack, I think I know who you are now). All it does is bolster all the other corruptos out there and make them believe that history will look kindly on their ill deeds. It won't.