White-Collar Crime

Former Detroit mayor, an ex-lawyer, gets 28 years in federal corruption case

Convicted of public corruption for operating what the prosecution called a money-making racket out of Detroit’s city hall as the city descended toward bankruptcy, former mayor and ex-lawyer Kwame Kilpatrick was sentenced Thursday to a 28-year prison term by a federal judge in Detroit.

“The government has asked for a sentence of 28 years,” said U.S. District Judge Nancy G. Edmunds. “I believe that is in fact what his sentence should be,” the Detroit Free Press reports.

The sentence for the 43-year-old Kilpatrick was “among the strictest” ever imposed in such cases, the New York Times (reg. req.) reports.

“Twenty-eight years—a very, very powerful sentence, equal to the highest sentence ever handed out in a public corruption case, but appropriate for the type of staggering corruption we saw in this case,” said U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade after the sentence was handed down in the Eastern District of Michigan case.

Kilpatrick’s lawyers said he has accepted responsibility and argued that no more than 15 years was needed. It is not known whether he will appeal.

A complex saga led to this day of reckoning. In addition to the millions in city funds that prosecutors said Kilpatrick funneled to himself, family and friends, it included racy text messages between Kilpatrick and a then-aide; a claimed cover-up that ensnared multiple attorneys in legal ethics cases; and criminal convictions related to Kilpatrick’s corruption case for 34 others.

Restitution owed by the ex-mayor will be determined at a later date.

See also:

The Huffington Post: ” Kwame Kilpatrick Sentenced, Former Detroit Mayor Gets 28 Years In Prison On Corruption Charges”

ABAJournal.com (2008): “Sex, Lies and Text Messages: Mich. Judge Makes Legal Memo Public”

ABAJournal.com (2010): “Ex-Mayor of Detroit Jailed, Loses $120K Job, for Living Lavishly Instead of Paying Restitution”

Detroit News (2009): “Kilpatrick to remain disbarred”

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