Monday, March 11, 2013

Ex-Detroit mayor Kilpatrick convicted of range of corruption charges

Rebecca Cook / Reuters file
Former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick gets into a vehicle in front of the federal courthouse in Detroit on Feb. 12.
Former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick was convicted Monday of a range of corruption charges after prosecutors said he presided over a breathtaking profit machine by rigging contracts and demanding bribes.
Kilpatrick was found guilty of racketeering, extortion, bribery and other charges. The racketeering count alone carries up to 20 years in prison.
Jurors delivered the verdict after deliberating 14 days.
Kilpatrick, 42, was charged with 30 federal crimes. The verdict was still being delivered in federal court in Detroit.
Prosecutors said that Kilpatrick, a Democrat, steered $83 million in city contracts to Ferguson in exchange for hundreds of thousands of dollars in kickbacks. They also told jurors that the ex-mayor raided his own nonprofit for personal expenses.
Kilpatrick’s lawyer told jurors that Kilpatrick never extorted anyone and that he only helped Ferguson win city business because he knew Ferguson would hire people who live in Detroit.
Kilpatrick was considered a rising Democratic star when he was elected in 2001, but his tenure was scarred by allegations of cronyism, nepotism and out-of-control spending.
He pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice in 2008 for lying in a civil trial during which he denied having an affair with his former chief of staff and plotting with her to fire the deputy police chief. He resigned and spent three months in jail.

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