SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Opinion

April 1, 2014

Our view: Appeals Court ruling makes a victim of taxpayers

(Continued)

Homelessness is a well-documented crisis in the state and on the North Shore — just ask the families forced to live for weeks at a time in hotels in Danvers, or the town officials who struggle to find money to deal with the additional strain on the municipal budget. The BHA and other organizations should be praised for trying to get scant resources to people who need them most.

One wonders how far the Appeals Court expected the BHA to go to track down and meet with Furtick. Most recipients of federal and state aid are expected to participate in keeping their affairs in order.

The Appeals Court was quick to jump to Furtick’s defense, labeling him as a “physically disabled, mentally ill senior citizen” diagnosed with both schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

Furtick was, however, found competent to stand trial in 2011 for the assault on his wife.

That incident was not the first for Furtick. His wife told police that he shot her in 1969. In 1970, he blew up their home, leading to seven years in the prison now known as MCI-Concord. In 2011, according to police, he told his wife, “I shot you once, and I blew the house up, and the third time will be a charm.”

It comes down to this: The Appeals Court is forcing taxpayers to subsidize the housing of a felon who has served time for blowing up a house and who couldn’t keep an appointment because he was in jail.

It’s not the BHA that has lost sight of its mission.

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