confirmed as Corrections Director in late 2014, he promised he'd be moving to this area. He did move, but to Hazleton. That's 62 miles away from Easton and is hardly what I consider to be this area. Keen already has a two-hour commute every day, but on top of that, appears to be a rolling stone.
A review of Keen's expense reports between 1/1/15 and 3/25/17 reveals that that he's made 16 trips. Most have been overnight stays. He's been to Valley Forge, Mechanicsburg, Lancaster (4 days), Altoona (4 days), Gettysburg (2 days), State College (2 days), Cranberry Twp (4 days), State College (1 day), State College (3 days), Carlisle (2 days), Atlantic City (4 days), Woodloch Springs Resort (4 days), Camden, NJ, Bellefonte (1 day), Gettysburg, and Windham, Maine (3 days). He must have used his county issued credit card, called a P-card, to pay for his hotel stays at Harrah's Resort, Springs Resort, Penn Stater Hotel. I failed to ask for those records. But over a two year time frame, he's been away 39 days.
Keen is a very dedicated NorCo employee. He is careful in his expense reports to avoid charging the county any more for meals than he is permitted. And he always responds to emails or calls, usually within a few hours. But 39 days over two years above and beyond the normal holidays and vacations is bound to breed resentment, and has. I wrote him once before about complaints that he is never at the jail. He said he was surprised at the complaint because he is on the go 24/7. As much as I appreciate what he does, it is irresponsible and poor management to put a prison director on the road for 39 days over two years.
That is no fault of Keen. That's on Executive John Brown, who should recognize that Director of Corrections is not a wandering hockey goalie.
Keen tells me his travel this year is related to his investigation and research into a new jail. Well, he's not going to be able to house county inmates in Windham, Maine. Besides, a new jail is very far from reality. It will be extremely unpopular politically and require a hefty tax hike.
Blogger's Note: The information contained in this story is based on information contained in a Right--to-Know request filed with Northampton County on 4/6/17.