Kwame Kilpatrick Gets 28 Years In Prison
By Black Men In America.com Staff Writer
Former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick aka the “Hip Hop Mayor” was sentenced to 28 years in prison today. This sentencing is reportedly the longest sentence for corruption ever handed down to a public official. Kilpatrick has already been jailed three times.
This marks the end of a long series of convictions, trials and appeals. It also marks the end of a sad chapter in politics of a man who had such political promise when elected at the age of 31 years old. Now 43, Kilpatrick should look in the mirror if he is looking for someone to blame. Remember the thousands of sexually explicit text messages using city owned cell phones? Some of those text messages contradicted testimony he had previously given during a whistle-blower’s trial resulting in a perjury charge. Then there was the extra-marital affair with his former Chief of Staff, one of several affairs discovered during his tenure as mayor. The Detroit Free Press reporters who broke that story earned a Pulitzer Prize. There were other mayoral scandals that weren’t addressed in the trial, like Kilpatrick’s leasing of a Lincoln Navigator for his wife using city funds, as well as other recent violations.
Talk about violating the public’s trust. Kwame Kilpatrick got full of himself and thought that the laws did not apply to him. This was one corrupt dude who robbed the city of Detroit of millions of dollars through a series of criminal enterprises where crimes were committed during his entire six-year tenure as Detroit mayor. 34 other people have been convicted for crimes pertaining to the former mayor.
Kilpatrick was found guilty on 24 counts related to bid-rigging, extortion and bribery in his latest trial, which ended in March. Government officials say Kilpatrick and his partner Bobby Ferguson ran a “criminal enterprise” out of Detroit’s City Hall, with Ferguson obtaining at least $76 million in contracts through extortion. Prosecutors say Kilpatrick used the mayor’s office to steer $127 million in contracts to Ferguson, a contractor and head of Ferguson Enterprises.
In court on Thursday, Kilpatrick said, “I respectfully ask or a fair sentence, based on what happened here. I respect the jury’s verdict … I think your honor knows that I disagree with it.”
After originally serving only 99 days but violating his probation, Kilpatrick served about a year in prison, and was required to pay the city $1 million in restitution. He still owes more than $850,000 from his original restitution requirement.
The mayor was accused in 2012 of violating his probation several times by not performing required community service and missing his restitution payments. In January of this year, he was caught on video cashing a $2,000 check at a Chicago Walmart. The monies hadn’t been reported to his parole officers.
As expected the former mayor had supporters at the courthouse who believe he is getting a raw deal and treated unfairly. It should be noted that some of the mayors wrongdoings have impacted his father. That’s right, Kilpatrick’s father, Bernard Kilpatrick, who was convicted on a single tax charge, will be sentenced Oct. 17th. His ass faces up to three years in prison. (Thanks son).
First Jesse Jackson, Jr. now Kwame Kilpatrick. Two young black politicians with promise who succumbed to greed are going to jail.
Kilpatrick has remained optimistic throughout the scandals. In his resignation speech in 2011, Kilpatrick told the city that he’d be back. “Detroit, you done set me up for a comeback,” he said.
After today’s sentencing it will be a while before the former mayor makes any kind of a come back. He would be 71 years old when released, if he serves his entire sentence.
Sources: The Detroit Free Press, Huffington Post.com, Associated Press, Freep.com.