Taxpayers' tab for ex-Detroit mayor's defense: nearly $814K

| Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014, 7:30 p.m.

DETROIT — The public paid more than $1 million for the years-long legal defense of former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick and his father, according to figures released on Wednesday by a federal court.

The Kilpatricks qualified for attorneys at the public's expense based on their income and assets at the time they were indicted.

Kwame Kilpatrick now is serving a 28-year prison sentence for corruption. His total legal tab, including attorney fees and other costs, was $813,806. Slightly more than half of that amount went to his longtime lawyer, James Thomas.

Thomas said he was paid $125 an hour, the rate for court-appointed counsel in Detroit federal court. The defense began in summer 2010, when Kilpatrick was first indicted for tax crimes. Prosecutors followed up with many additional charges, including racketeering conspiracy, and the five-month trial didn't start until fall 2012.

Bernard Kilpatrick's legal costs added up to $352,777.

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