Federal prosecutors in a five-month trial claimed that corruption surrounded former Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick when he held that office from 2001 to 2008. On Monday (March 11), a 12-person jury in Detroit agreed, convicting Kilpatrick of racketering conspiracy charges that carry a maximum 20-year prison sentence.
Specifically, he was found guilty of 24 charges, not guilty on three and no consensus on three others.
Kilpatrick, 42, will remain in police custody until sentencing.
He was portrayed as a unscrupulous politician who took bribes that included thousands in cash skimmed from illegally rigged city contracts.
The government presented evidence that Kilpatrick got a piece of the action from a contractor who was awarded millions of dollars of work from the city of Detroit, The Associated Press reported.
Additionally, business owners were pressured into hiring the contractor as a sub-contractor or risk losing city work.
Separately, fundraiser Emma Bell said she gave Kilpatrick more than $200,000 alone as his personal cut of political donations, pulling handfuls of cash from her bra during private meetings, AP reported.
A high-ranking aide testified that he often served as a kind of middle man, passing bribes from others to the mayor.
And all of this rests on top of his guilty plea in 2008 to obstruction of justice in a completely different mess involving sexually explicit text messages and an extramarital affair with his chief of staff.
He went to jail for 14 months in that case after a judge said Kilpatrick failed to report assets that could have been used to offset restitution to the city of Detroit.
The federal prosecutor in the case voiced shock at the scale of corruption.
So do we. Detroit politics was brought to a new low by this guy. It can do a much better
The Mining Journal, Marquette