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Pitcher’s hearing rescheduled

Matt Keough's arrest after drinking in a Newport hotel bar incites further outcry from residents opposed to rehab homes around town.

December 21, 2007|By Brianna Bailey

The arrest of former Oakland A’s All-Star pitcher and reality television star Matt Keough at a Newport Beach hotel bar earlier this week has Balboa Peninsula residents talking about problems with crime they say are caused by recovering drug and alcohol addicts in their neighborhood.

Residents claim the peninsula is overrun by rehabilitation homes. Keough attended treatment for five months at the Balboa Peninsula-based recovery center Sober Living by the Sea and continued to attend daily meetings there as recently as 2006.

“Everybody is calling everyone else about it,” said peninsula resident Ken Kuhlmann. “It’s just another one of those things that happens. If they put him back down here he’ll probably go out and party at night again.”

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Keough’s hearing Friday for an alcohol-related probation violation was rescheduled for Jan. 14.

“He’s committed to getting treatment,” said Joseph McGinley, one of Keough’s attorneys. Keough’s wife, Jeana Keough, former Playboy Playmate and star of the reality television show “The Real Housewives of Orange County,” sat in the back row of the courtroom talking with an attorney before the hearing was rescheduled. She declined to speak with reporters. Jeana Keough announced in the third season of the hit television series the couple had separated.

Keough was in a courtroom holding cell with disheveled hair and wearing an orange jail jumpsuit. Jail records show he is ineligible for bail. The former ballplayer, whose family life in an upscale South County gated community is detailed on “The Real Housewives,” was arrested at a hotel bar Tuesday for violating the terms of his probation for a 2005 conviction for driving under the influence.

Newport Beach police officers found Keough, 52, drinking Tuesday evening at the Marriott Hotel, 900 Newport Center Drive, after concerned hotel staff called authorities, Newport Beach police Sgt. Evan Sailor said.

Balboa Peninsula residents claim rehabilitation centers bring people with criminal records into their neighborhood. Sober Living by the Sea officials told the Daily Pilot earlier this month that about 6% of their clientele are on probation, typically for drug or alcohol-related charges.

Sober Living by the Sea is one of about 26 state-licensed rehabilitation facilities in Newport Beach, according to data collected by the City of Newport Beach.

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