And in more serious news, today sucks for former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick. Today, he was convicted of corruption charges, after Jurors convicted Kilpatrick of a raft of crimes, including racketeering conspiracy, which carries a maximum punishment of 20 years behind bars. He was portrayed during a five-month trial as an unscrupulous politician who took bribes, rigged contracts and lived far beyond his means while in office until fall 2008. According to reporters, Kilpatrick wore a surprised, puzzled look when U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds read the jury’s verdict: guilty of 24 charges, not guilty on three and no consensus on three more.
Kilpatrick declined to speak to reporters as he left the courthouse. Internal Revenue Service agents said Kilpatrick spent $840,000 beyond his mayoral salary. Kwame Kilpatrick, who now lives near Dallas, declined to testify. He has long denied any wrongdoing, and defense attorney James Thomas told jurors that his client often was showered with cash gifts from city workers and political supporters during holidays and birthdays. The current mayor, Dave Bing, said the verdict would allow the city to move on from
“this negative chapter in Detroit’s history. It’s time for all of us to move forward with a renewed commitment to transparency and high ethical standards in our city government.”
Kilpatrick, 42, was elected in 2001 at age 31. He resigned in 2008 and pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice in a different scandal involving sexually explicit text messages and an extramarital affair with his chief of staff. The Democrat spent 14 months in prison for violating probation in that case after a judge said he failed to report assets that could be put toward his $1 million restitution to Detroit.
[Kim Porter Daily, AP]