PALM BAY, Florida – Serene Harbor CEO Melody Keeth has “parted ways” with the local Palm Bay, Florida domestic violence shelter after Florida State Representative Randy Fine (R-Palm Bay) brought local attention to Keeth’s involvement in the state-level financial scandal enveloping the Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence.
“There is a special place in hell for anyone who would inappropriately profit off of domestic violence survivors,” Fine wrote in a Facebook post on Friday morning regarding at Tampa Bay Times article covering the FCADV scandal.
“To my dismay, there is a Brevard County angle to this story as the Chairwoman of the Board, who approved giving the CEO 360 days of paid time off in one year, among other apparently egregious forms of compensation (yes you read that right) is Melody Keeth, the CEO of Palm Bay Domestic Violence shelter Serene Harbour. Ms. Keeth has been subpoenaed to come to Tallahassee to provide testimony on the matter, and I look forward to personally getting to the bottom of this.”
By Friday evening, Serene Harbor issued a statement that Keeth is no longer the CEO of Serene Harbor.
“Effective February 14th, 2020 Serene Harbor has parted ways with Melody R. Keeth, President and CEO. Her involvement with FCADV, and the ongoing investigation in Tallahassee, is a distraction to our core mission of serving domestic violence victims in our community. Nothing is more important than aiding our victims,” Serene Harbor Domestic Violence Center Board Chair Suzanne Hall wrote.
“We understand the public’s trust is paramount and we want to make sure we proceed with full transparency and the most efficient allocation of our resources as possible. We are a volunteer board of directors deeply committed to serving the families who rely on our services. We will not be distracted from that mission.”
“We anticipate a seamless transition as we already had a succession plan in place. We are looking forward to welcoming Beverly DeMeyer as our new President and CEO,” Hall continued.
“In Beverly’s new role she will continue to work, alongside the dedicated staff, toward Serene Harbor’s mission to end domestic violence in our community. We are looking forward to getting back to the important work we do. In FY 2018-2019, Serene Harbor assisted over 1,400 individuals and provided over 5,515 nights of shelter. The work that Serene Harbor does is essential to helping the most vulnerable in our community.”
Keeth was Serene Harbor’s CEO for 22 years.