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Ex-Mayor Denies Gucci Shoes, Takes 5th in $1M Detroit Restitution Battle

Posted Dec 7, 2009 7:18 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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Asked whether he had spent $595 on Gucci shoes, former Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick said the brand doesn't fit his feet properly.

But, he admitted in a Detroit court hearing today, he did spend $15,000 on plastic surgery for his wife within weeks of telling a judge he couldn't afford his $6,000-a-month payments on the $1 million restitution he promised to make in a 2008 corruption plea bargain, according to the Detroit Free Press and the Detroit News.

Questioned by prosecutors who contended he spent some $500,000 between October 2008 and October 2009, Kilpatrick also admitted that he didn't disclose to the probation office, when asked about assets, $21,000 in his own bank account, $10,000 in his wife's bank account and $56,000 that he withdrew from a city retirement account to cover living expenses, according to the two newspapers.

Kilpatrick, who gave up his law license at the time of the plea bargain, should have understood from his experience as mayor that such disclosure was required, contended Assistant Wayne County Prosecutor Robert Spada.

The ex-mayor told the court that his wife refused to cooperate when he asked her about her finances. He said he simply forgot to list his Harley-Davidson motorcycle as an asset, the Free Press recounts in a live-blog of the hearing.

Now reportedly working as a salesman in Texas and living with his family in a $2,700-a-month rental after his downfall in Detroit, Kilpatrick asserted his Fifth Amendment privilege not to incriminate himself at least twice during the hearing, as well as a spousal privilege. He also irritated Wayne County Circuit Judge David Groner with his combative attitude this morning and late return to court from lunch, the newspaper says.

The day didn't go well for the former mayor, either, concerning another issue: Groner is threatening to hold Kilpatrick in contempt if he doesn't provide a letter supporting his prior contentions that he couldn't complete a court hearing because he needed to return to Texas to work on a business deal.

Kilpatrick says he has paid his lawyers $800,000 so far, but still owes then another $650,000, the Free Press notes.

The hearing, which was in its fourth day today and continues tomorrow, is to determine whether Kilpatrick violated his probation by failing to make promised $6,000-a-month restitution payments in full as promised.

Related coverage:

ABAJournal.com: "Detroit Ex-Mayor: $2,700 Rent, $900 Car Note + $6K Restitution Too Costly"

ABAJournal.com: "$8.4M Sex, Lies & Texts Settlement Puts Detroit Lawyers on Hot Seat"

Detroit News: "Kilpatrick attorney: Hearings a 'complete waste of time'"

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