Half Of Detroit's Mayoral Candidates Are Felons

Tyler Durden's picture

Will voters in one of the most crime-ridden cities in the country be able to stomach voting for a convicted felon? Residents of Detroit are about to find out. Half of the candidates running in next Tuesday’s mayoral primary – the first since the city emerged from Bankruptcy protection in 2014 - have felony convictions on their records, according to an analysis of criminal records by the Detroit News.

In what we must admit is a masterful attempt at spin, one political operative said the felony convictions make the candidates more relatable because they show the candidates have each "lived a little."

“Black marks on your record show you have lived a little and have overcome some challenges,” said Bowens, a former press secretary to Detroit Mayor Dennis Archer and NAACP activist. “They (candidates) deserve the opportunity to be heard, but they also deserve to have the kind of scrutiny that comes along with trying to get an important elected position.”

Michigan election law stipulates that convicted felons can vote and run for office as long as they are not incarcerated or guilty of certain fraud-related offenses, or crimes involving a breach of the public trust. The top two finishers in the primary will go on to face off against incumbent mayor Mike Duggan, who is running for reelection. Duggan has received endorsements from a host of powerful unions, including the Detroit Metro AFL-CIO and the powerful public employees’ union AFSCME.

Mayoral candidate Donna Marie Pitts has multiple felony convictions dating back to 1977, according to the News. Pitts says she was discriminated against and wrongfully convicted, and is “open” to discussing the circumstances that led to her convictions.

“I don’t hide it. God has brought me out,” said Pitts, who wants to improve health care services, and tackle crime and rebuilding the community. “I hope (voters) don’t look at it as negative but as my experience, and I can help. I want to fight for them.”

Her rap sheet includes convictions spanning from 1977 to 2003. Charges vary from operating a vehicle without a license to assault with intent to murder.

“In 1977, Pitts was convicted of receiving and concealing a stolen 1977 Oldsmobile. She was sentenced to a year of probation.


A decade later, she was charged with two counts of assault with intent to murder and two firearm offenses in connection with two separate shooting incidents on March 24, 1987, Detroit Recorder’s Court records say.


Pitts was sentenced to three to 10 years in prison, plus two additional years for the firearm offense. She served about four years and eight months and was paroled June 1, 1992, according to the Michigan Department of Corrections.


Pitts had another run-in with police in Troy in September 2000 when she was stopped in a residential neighborhood and arrested for fleeing and eluding and operating a vehicle without a license.

Pitts later pleaded guilty to not having an operator’s license and disobeying a police signal. She was placed on six months probation, which was discharged in September 2001.


Most recently, Pitts was convicted of firearm possession and carrying a concealed weapon under a March 2003 plea agreement stemming from a traffic stop in Dearborn Heights, Wayne County Circuit Court records show.


Pitts was stopped by police on Dec. 2, 2002, on Ford near Norborne for an improper plate and failure to wear a seat belt.


A .38 caliber handgun — which Pitts said belonged to her sister — was found on the front floor board of the truck. She was ordered to serve 40 to 60 months in prison in April 2003. She was paroled in August 2006, according to the Michigan Department of Corrections.”

To her credit, Pitts says she supports law enforcement, adding that “there’s a lot of good officers. I just ran into a couple of bad situations.” Pitts isn’t the only candidate with a conviction for an assault with intent to murder charge. Fellow contender Danetta L. Simpson has a 1996 felony conviction for it out of Oakland County. The 46-year-old former cosmetologist and salon owner previously ran for a seats in the Michigan legislature, as well as the Detroit school board and City Council, says that she was “overcharged” for a crime she didn’t commit after an altercation with a woman who had been living with the father of two of Simpson’s children.

“According to court records, Simpson pleaded no contest to assault with intent to commit murder — any term of years up to life in prison — in exchange for dismissal of a firearms offense.


The incident stemmed from a complaint made by a woman who’d been living with the father of two of Simpson’s children. The woman alleged she’d received threatening phone calls from Simpson and court records say a confrontation later ensued in which Simpson fired a gun. No one was injured.


In court transcripts, the woman accused Simpson of pulling up in a van and screaming at her to come outside. She said Simpson then pointed a gun at her and fired, striking part of a doorway about 2 feet from where the woman was standing, court records say.


Simpson pleaded no contest on the day of the 1998 trial. She later tried to withdraw it, but her attempts failed. She was put on probation for one year and discharged Sept. 30, 1999.”

Articia Bomer, another candidate, was charged in 2008 with carrying a concealed weapon, but says the weapon wasn’t hers. She was ultimately sentenced to a year of probation, which she completed successfully.

“Court records note Bomer was approached by police while sitting in a 1987 Oldsmobile Cutlass parked at the curb in the 9300 block of Whitcomb on July 25, 2008. A search turned up a .38 caliber piston with four live rounds. Bomer said the weapon was not hers.


She said she had just purchased the vehicle, the prior owner was a gun-carrier and several others had been driving the car.”

Curtis Christopher Greene, an author and marketer with degrees from the University of Phoenix, was charged with a felony at age 19. Greene, who says he grew up in a “crime-ridden area,” struggles to find work and wants to implement programs to help ex-offenders.

“Greene was charged in 2004 with fourth-degree fleeing and eluding police during an attempted traffic stop in Harrison Township as well as delivering and manufacturing marijuana.


He was sentenced to 18 months’ probation under the Holmes Youthful Trainee Act, meaning his conviction would be dismissed if he met all probationary requirements. Under the agreement, the fleeing and eluding charge was dropped, Macomb County Circuit Court records show.


Greene violated probation in July 2005 when he was arrested and charged with uttering and publishing a fraudulent check in Gratiot County, a felony.


The case was not prosecuted. Instead, Greene pleaded guilty that September to conspiracy for uttering and publishing and was sentenced to six months in the Gratiot County Jail.


Greene also pleaded guilty to violating his Macomb Circuit Court probation. The violation triggered an extension of his probation term and his youthful trainee status revoked, court records say. He was discharged in September 2007. Greene also pleaded guilty to violating his Macomb Circuit Court probation. The violation triggered an extension of his probation term and his youthful trainee status revoked, court records say. He was discharged in September 2007.”

Detroit wouldn’t be the first American city to elect a convicted felon. Providence, R.I. famously reelected Vincent “Buddy” Cianci after he was convicted and imprisoned during the 1980s for beating and torturing a longtime acquaintance who allegedly had an affair with Cianci’s wife. He was arrested again during his second stint as mayor and convicted of racketeering, for which he served another prison term. When he died in 2016, he was reportedly contemplating yet another mayoral bid. Former Washington D.C. Mayor Marion Barry was also reelected after being convicted on drug charges stemming from a surveillance tape of him smoking crack.

Who knows? Maybe former Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, who pleading guilty to felony charges including obstruction of justice and perjury, will throw his hat in the ring, too.

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opport.knocks's picture

Only 1/2 - they must have really cleaned the place up.

BandGap's picture

Hard to break bad habits.

J S Bach's picture

"In what we must admit is a masterful attempt at spin, one political operative said the felony convictions make the candidates more relatable because they show the candidates have each "lived a little."

Please forgive the pause, but....



I must wipe away the tears of laughter!



There... that's better.


Ahem.  Okay.  Pull yourself together now.


Folks... all this means is that these "people" voting for this are in a quandary over a representative of THEMSELVES!  Yes!  These crooks and racists are the true embodiment of the people they represent!

Do you see now the lunacy of democrazy?!  When you have a population of 60-IQ idiots emboldened with the rights to vote for their representatives... do you not see the ultimate outcome of such a system?

I leave it to you, dear reader... to form an honest opinion.

Please excuse me while I locate another box of tissues.

armada's picture

"Half Of Detroit's Mayoral Candidates Are Felons"

Well, Half Of America's Richest Folks Are Impostors.


The_Juggernaut's picture

Only difference between this and any other election is these guys got caught and convicted.

TahoeBilly2012's picture

Who is going to break it to these people that their 5 minutes of living better than any African Country has come and gone and ain't coming back. If ur black, get out of the Hood, smile and take a job anywhere's USA you will thank me later. Pull ur paints up too and conjegate ur verbs, makes things MUCH easier. Blend in, dissapear.

wee-weed up's picture

Another consequence of long-time liberal rule.

Blue Balls's picture

Which one does weed?  He's got my vote.  Vote for weed, vote for weed.

I_rikey_lice's picture

Haven't watched SCTV in a long time. Nice one!

MayIMommaDogFace2theBananaPatch's picture

Dreadful sad that the entire SCTV run is not available on DVD -- some episodes and sketches are around, but there's not a good, complete, tribute set available.

Someday I hope...

TahoeBilly2012's picture

Well hey you gotta be tough to wanna run that town, just sayin'.

Dubaibanker's picture

American "democracy" (if you may call it that), has much to learn from another largest fellow "democracy" - India.

Please speed up and try to catch up....50% criminals is for kiddos....76% is your revised target! :)


In Bihar’s New Cabinet, 76% Ministers Have Criminal Cases Against Them
Low-Withers's picture

The onther 1/2 a slightly better at covering there tracks.
But this isn't limited to politicians.

Actually had a Charismatic Pastor brag about his contacts with high-level investment capital and Gang Banger murderers. Of course they were doing "Gods work now ". Something to be said about "the company that you keep"
Actually threatened my family with a "spiritual assault" on my children when we no longer supported his "Ministry "
Such a nice fellow.
Scared the crap out of me at the time.

A Man of Wealth and Taste's picture

Four of eight are felons. I'm guessing the remaining four are white.

Mine Is Bigger's picture
Half Of Detroit's Mayoral Candidates Are Felons.

The other half simply forged their records.

Secret Weapon's picture

Nore.  The other half plea bargaind to a lesser charge.

veritas semper vinces's picture

Big deal.The whole Senate/Congress are made of felons.As I said,one big family.The whole financial system is full of them(the FED and big banks)

Big corporations.

MSM and Jewlywood.Music,fashion industries.

See Eye Ayy,NSA,FBI,and all  alphabet soup.Police


Did I miss anybody?

The only ones who are not are the little people , but I guess they do not count.

The United Felons of Jewmerica.United in screwing you.

Rant off.Sorry for the language

peddling-fiction's picture

Felons have what it takes.

nightwish's picture

Yep, so empower these fuckups with much greater opportunities that will invite temptation and weakness. Really smart country we have.

Megaton Jim's picture

Surprised anyone?!? 13% of the population that cause 70% of the problems. Maybe we can do without that population and start the next time they riot!

In Stasis's picture

"Like sand through the hourglass, these are the days of our lives"

- Cue cheesy soap opera music -

WTFUD's picture

Thanks for the prompter 'days of our lives' - Queen. Haven't listened to it for a few years . . . and it's free!

BandGap's picture

I went to college with the current mayor. Had beers with him back in the early 80s. Good guy, doing a good job. Detroit is running a surplus, something not mentioned here.

BeanusCountus's picture

He is definitely a decent guy. With a tough job. To downvoters, what have you got against him?

Westcoastliberal's picture

It's called scraping the bottom of the barrel. What kind of person would WANT to be mayor of Detroit? Felons, of course.

MayIMommaDogFace2theBananaPatch's picture

It is much simpler than that.

They can get credit for their Community Service hours while they are Mayor -- that's the attraction.

put a kettle on's picture

Politics, the last refuge of the scoundrel.

Dabooda's picture

With all due respect to an inadequately cynical compatriot, it is the first.

MonkeyKnutz's picture

So they will be joining their own ranks? 

What the attractive business model!  Disgusting to see how our country has turned out.  They know where the easy money is. 

Welcome to Idiocracy, next up is Prez Camacho. (The Rock)--"I know shits bad out there, all that starvin' and shit!"

Yars Revenge's picture

Probably half the USA are felons.

With it's hyperaggressive laws, the whole country is a giant felon factory.

Trucker Glock's picture

"Vote for me, cuz I can't!"

sunkeye's picture

Trucker Glock - "Vote for me, cuz I can't!"

Ginormous LOL. T/y for this.

Bay Area Guy's picture

Uttering a bad check?  What the hell does that mean?

As far as Ms. Pitts is concerned, yeah, a victim of discrimination.....five separate times, including trying to kill people.

If Detroit elects her, they deserve the deeper and more aromatic shit they'll get as a result.

Vlad the Inhaler's picture

Big deal, one in three Americans has a criminal record.  Are they really criminals or are there too many laws?

xrxs's picture

Too many laws, and people can change.

rejected's picture

What's so surprising about this? Half of America are felons. Today most everything is a felony. At a rest area in Florida I spotted a sign that said if I crossed the yellow construction tape it was a 5th degree felony. Having a smidgen of pot on your person and your a danger to society committing a felony which could put you behind bars. Feeding the homeless. Feeding pidgins. Driving without government permission. Trying to block blows while 2 or 3 cops are beating you,,, resisting arrest!

And who gives a rats ass about broke Detroit? But not broke enough to build a new stadium! 

sinbad2's picture

You're right, if you look at the data, the US has more criminals per head of population than any nation on earth.

veritas semper vinces's picture

You're right, if you look at the data, the US has more criminals per head of population than any nation on earth.


And they are all in the Senate and Congress.

Mazzy's picture

Half of Detroit consists of felons.  The other half just haven't been caught yet.

cheeseheader's picture

Immediately made me think of the racist/felon congressman Luis Gutierrez from the windy city.

NewHugh's picture

What percentage of congressmen have a felony record?

Pop3y3too's picture

The difference between these candidates and all other politicians?  These got caught. 

NewHugh's picture

... well they claim immunity when getting stopped for DUI...

sinbad2's picture

All politicians are crooks, but some haven't been caught, yet.