Director Of Boxing Program Speaks Out Against City's Allegations

5:11 AM, Dec 31, 2010   |    comments
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WASHINGTON (WUSA) -- Keely Thompson has run a successful anti gang/boxing program for 7 years in the District.  But now the program is in jeopardy.  The Department of Real Estate Services said Thompson owes nearly $29,000 in back rent and violated the terms of his agreement by subletting to Resurrection Freewill Baptist Church. 

Thompson denies subletting to the church.  He told 9NEWS NOW that the church was donating to the youth program and that the department knew of the arrangement.  As for the back rent, he said once his funding was cut he was told not to worry about the rent.

Thompson said the 60 at risk youth who attend the boxing and mentoring program will be out on the streets.

"Imagine if you take 100 kids and rehabilitate them physically and mentally and then snatch them up and throw them back on the streets - you're asking for something negative," said Carl Harper Sr. whose son has boxed at Keely's gym for the past 6 years.

"I don't want anyone else to train me but Mr. Keely," said Carl Jr., "when Mr. Keely trains me I feel special."

Carl Jr. nor his father are worried about Thompson's legal troubles.  Thompson is under federal investigation for allegedly stealing more than $500,000 from the program to gamble.


Written by Delia Goncalves

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