Ex-Detroit mayor guilty, to await sentence in prison
DETROIT — A jury concluded on Monday that former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick ran a criminal enterprise — complete with extortion, bribes and kickbacks — while he was the mayor of Michigan's largest city, and a federal judge ordered him to be put behind bars immediately.
The panel convicted him and contractor friend Bobby Ferguson of running a racket out of the mayor's office for years to enrich themselves, and the judge said they both will be detained while awaiting sentencing. In some cases, longtime friends testified they handed cash to Kilpatrick in envelopes.
Kilpatrick was convicted on 24 of 30 counts, including five counts of extortion, racketeering, bribery and several mail, wire and tax fraud charges during a five-month trial in which he was portrayed as an unscrupulous politician who took bribes, rigged contracts and lived far beyond his means.
The convictions ensure a return to prison long term for a Democrat once among the nation's youngest big-city leaders until he resigned in fall 2008. Each defendant could spend up to 20 years in prison.
The ex-mayor's father, Bernard Kilpatrick, was convicted on one count of filing a false tax return, but jurors acquitted him attempted extortion and another tax charge and deadlocked a racketeering charge. He will remain free on bond.
U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds said the jury reached unanimous agreement on Friday on 40 of the 45 counts but wanted a chance to reflect further during the weekend.
Witnesses told of Kwame Kilpatrick's lavish lifestyle — luxury vacations, custom suits and golf outings — despite being at the helm of a city so broke it was on the verge of a state-appointed manager to right its finances. Internal Revenue Service agents said Kwame Kilpatrick spent $840,000 beyond his mayoral salary.
The verdict is another defeat for the man who left office in 2008 amid an unrelated scandal involving sexually explicit text messages and an affair with an aide.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Obama avoids calling terrorist attacks ‘Islamice_SSRq
- Alpha to idle two West Virginia coal mines
- Teen girl Hernandez killed by Denver police once cited for resisting arrest
- Tickets let players bring home bacon — scent
- Mideast-North Africa category considered for 2020 Census
- Day, night 4-digit drawings match
- Executive order directs standards to reflect climate change projections
- Former GOP nominee Romney will not run for president in ’16
- Overhaul of military benefit programs sought
- Judge orders nonprofit tax form release in case against IRS
- Obama AG pick gets positive conservative marks