October 10, 2013

It's finally over, Kwame Kilpatrick can’t hurt Detroit anymore. The scandal-ridden politician and former mayor of Detroit Kwame Kilpatrick was sentenced to 28 years in prison Thursday, seven months after being convicted on corruption charges. Once dubbed the “hip hop mayor of Detroit,” Kilpatrick raked in millions for his family through a secret “money-making racket” which he ran out of city hall. As Detroit crumbled around him, Kilpatrick got rich—stooping low enough to use funds allotted for needy citizens to pay for his own yoga. Judge Nancy Edmunds condemned Kilpatrick’s actions during the sentencing. “One thing is certain,” she said. “It was the citizens of Detroit who suffered.”

Detroit Free Press:

“We’re demanding transparency and accountability in our government,” Edmunds said. “ ... If there has been corruption in the past, there will be corruption no more.”

"The massive public corruption investigation that spanned a decade and ensnared the former mayor also has resulted in convictions against 33 other people. Those include three others convicted in the same trial against the former mayor that started in September 2012 — longtime contractor friend Bobby Ferguson, his father Bernard Kilpatrick and former water department director Victor Mercado, who all await sentencing.

An expressionless Kilpatrick sat in his chair and listened to the judge. Not knowing yet what his punishment would be, he had just spent roughly 25 minutes himself apologizing for many of his actions. He said he was sorry about the affair with his top aide Christine Beatty and “mad at people for finding out.” He said what came off as arrogance was “false confidence,” and “this pride and ego” overtook him, even though all he ever wanted to do was become mayor of Detroit — a job he admitted to hating his first six months in office.

“I’ve been a tremendous problem for all the people who have felt that I let them down ... I say with every morsel in my being that I’m sorry,” Kilpatrick said, later adding: “I just hope that one day I can forgive myself.”

He also said: “I’m incredibly remorseful.”'

Judge Edmunds said she will recommend Kilpatrick be sent to a prison in Texas, where his family lives, and told Kilpatrick he could appeal. He nodded his head from his seat.

Kilpatrick’s attorney, Harold Gurewitz, has said that he will appeal and plans to file a notice of appeal within two weeks.

The former mayor's father, Bernard Kilpatrick, faces sentencing October 17th on a single tax conviction.

Kilpatrick's longtime contractor friend Bobby Ferguson was found guilty in U.S. District Court in Detroit of nine of 11 counts related to the rigging City of Detroit contracts through the mayor's office.

Ferguson, scored roughly $127 million in city contracts while his friend was mayor, with more than $70 million worth of the deals obtained illegally.

Federal prosecutors are seeking a maximum 28-year prison sentence for Ferguson when he is sentenced at 10 a.m. Friday.

A fourth defendant, former water department director Victor Mercado, pleaded guilty to conspiracy during the trial and awaits sentencing.

Kwame Kilpatrick public corruption scandal, 2001-2013 (interactive timeline)

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