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Probes continue in Keating case

Police investigators continue to look into further allegations against Elizabeth A.

Thursday, January 11, 2001

Police investigators continue to look into further allegations against Elizabeth A. Keating, who was charged with attempted murder in the Jan. 2 shooting injury of her partner and co-worker, Debra Dickens.

An investigation into alleged missing money from Ironton Band Boosters accounts was launched Friday after booster officials discovered the possibility of missing funds and filed a report with the Ironton Police Department.

"A report was filed and we’re investigating it," detective Capt. Chris Bowman said. "As to the outcome, that will be determined at a later date."

He said the new investigation would likely be "a long process."

Mrs. Keating took office as the band booster’s treasurer Jan. of 1998, officials said.

"We know there’s money missing and some improprieties, but we don’t know to what extent at this time," Bowman said. "After the investigation is completed, we will be preparing the case for a future grand jury and/or criminal charges to be filed."

Mrs. Keating’s defense attorney, Mark McCown said he found the most recent allegations unusual.

"I find it ironic they are now saying there may be criminal financial misconduct when in court Monday afternoon, the assistant prosecutor indicated he felt it was a civil nature to secure all financial records that shouldn’t be dealt with in a criminal case," McCown said.

He said prosecutors have not contacted him concerning any other additional charges against Mrs. Keating.

Band boosters president Jeff Massie said the organization was taken by surprise when recent financial questions arose.

"It’s still too early for us to say what happened," he said. "We are very taken back by this we’re shocked."

Massie said the organization is eager to resolve the accusations.

"We’re working diligently with the police department, the prosecutor’s office and through our attorney to resolve the matter," he said. "We are cooperating in every way we can."

"Aside from giving me the indictment and notice of (Lawrence County prosecutor J.B.) Collier being prosecutor in the case, they have not contacted me for anything else," McGown said.

McCown said the indictment against Mrs. Keating on the shooting charge was not unusual in a case of this nature.

"This does not particularly come as a surprise," he said. "Grand juries typically do not consider the mental state of an accused.

"Additionally, the accused does not have an opportunity to present evidence to contradict any allegations made in the grand jury. In fact, the defendant is not allowed to be present during a grand jury investigation."

McCown said the "completely secret proceeding" typically determines probable cause in criminal cases, adding that their findings were normal.

Meanwhile, Mrs. Keating remains hospitalized in an undisclosed hospital in Portsmouth, McCown said.

"At this point, I don’t know when they will arraign her," he said.