Detroit Mayor Gets 28 Year Sentence For Corruption
Following his "yearslong scheme to shakedown contractors and reward allies," Kwame Kilpatrick - who served as Detroit Mayor from 2002 to 2008 - was this morning sentenced to 28 years in prison for corruption. Regarded by many as a key contributor to Detroit's eventual downfall, it seems Kilpatrick is somewhat repentant, stating, "the people here are suffering, they're hurting. A great deal of that hurt I accept responsibility for." Agents who pored over bank accounts and credit cards said Kilpatrick spent $840,000 beyond his salary during his time as mayor. Having resigned in 2008 over a sexting scandal, the scale of his corruption, prosecutors added, "exacerbated the crisis."
Via Fox News (AP),
Former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick was sentenced Thursday to 28 years in prison for corruption, the apparent last step after a series of scandals destroyed his political career and helped steer a crisis-laden city even deeper into trouble.
Kilpatrick, who served as mayor from 2002 until fall 2008, fattened his bank account by tens of thousands of dollars, traveled the country in private planes and even strong-armed his campaign fundraiser for stacks of cash hidden in her bra, according to evidence at trial.
"I'm ready to go so the city can move on," Kilpatrick told the judge. "The people here are suffering, they're hurting. A great deal of that hurt I accept responsibility for."
In March, Kilpatrick, 43, was convicted of racketeering conspiracy, fraud, extortion and tax crimes. The government called it the "Kilpatrick enterprise," a yearslong scheme to shake down contractors and reward allies. He was doomed by his own text messages, which revealed efforts to fix deals for a pal, Bobby Ferguson, an excavator who got millions of dollars in city work through the water department.
Agents who pored over bank accounts and credit cards said Kilpatrick spent $840,000 beyond his salary during his time as mayor. Defense attorneys tried to portray the money as generous gifts from political supporters who opened their wallets for birthdays or holidays.
Kilpatrick, a Democrat, quit office in 2008 in a different scandal that was extraordinary at the time but seems smaller compared with the sweeping federal probe that has led to the convictions of more than 30 people. Sexually explicit text messages revealed that Kilpatrick had lied during a trial to cover up an affair with his top aide, Christine Beatty, and to hide the reasons for demoting or firing police officers who suspected wrongdoing at city hall.
"Kilpatrick is not the main culprit of the city's historic bankruptcy, which is the result of larger social and economic forces at work for decades. But his corrupt administration exacerbated the crisis," prosecutors said in a court filing last week.
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