The news reported by Andy Johnson of Keith Foster’s ouster as consulting architect at Congressional and Olympia Fields following a guilty plea on charges of smuggling goods made from endangered species, is a dark chapter in what has been an excellent and widely-respected career of faithful restoration work.
Still, I couldn’t help but notice this line in Ryan Herrington’s Golf World report confirming the news based on a letter from Congressional president Bev Lane to the members claiming the club’s board was not aware of the case.
In the letter, first reported by the Fried Egg and a copy of which has been obtained by Golf Digest, Lane stated that the club had no prior knowledge of Foster’s legal issues. In addition to his work as an architect, Foster owned a family antiques business in Virginia that specialized in selling foreign-sourced merchandise, a portion of which included wildlife products made from endangered species such as crocodiles, sea turtles and sawfish.
A simple Google news alert would have turned up this report a year ago when the Foster’s shop was raided about 50 minutes away from Congressional.
As for Olympia Fields, Tim Cronin offers a few details on the club moving in a new direction following Foster’s guilty plea.