Providence councilman trips over track program that launched him Founding the Cobras helped Kevin E. Jackson build a political base; now he stands accused of embezzling $127,153 from the team.
PROVIDENCE, R.I. — For nearly 40 years, the Providence Cobras Track and Field Club has given young people a chance to be part of a team, excel at a sport and in many cases eventually earn scholarships to top-notch universities they otherwise never would have been able to afford.
And its success reflected well on its founder, Kevin E. Jackson. The club's good works in the East Side neighborhood helped cement his credibility as a community leader and activist, at the same time creating a network of friends and supporters that helped him win six terms on the City Council.
But after his arrest Wednesday by the state police on a range of charges, including embezzlement of $127,153 from the Cobras program, it seems the thing that first helped make him a political success could wind up being a part of his downfall.
Through his coaching with the Cobras, Jackson became known to parents in the neighborhood. And the children he coached, when they grew up, still remembered their experiences with the club, a training ground for pre-high schoolers.