By Rob Wile
Kwame Kilpatrick, who was twice elected mayor of Detroit, has been sentenced to 28 years in prison for running "a criminal enterprise" through the mayor's office during his administration. Before handing down the sentence today, Judge Nancy Edmunds of Michigan's Eastern District completely eviscerated him.
Kilpatrick's journey to this moment began in December 2010 when a Federal grand jury handed down a 38-count indictment against Kilpatrick, his brother, his best friend and one other official for bribery, racketeering, extortion and other felonies. In March of this year, he was convicted on 24 of 30 counts. His behavior helped push the city into filing the largest-ever municipal bankruptcy.
According to Detroit Free Press reporter Jim Schaefer, who was LiveBlogging the sentencing hearing, here are the best lines from Judge Nancy Edmunds' paraphrased remarks on Kilpatrick's guilt:
Approximately $840,000 passed through his banks.
A jury found he used civic funds for getaways, spa treatments, yoga, summer camp for [his] kids, etc. He was supposed to use that money to improve neighborhoods and life for youths.
Kilpatrick used his power as mayor … to steer an astounding amount of business to Ferguson. There was a pattern of threats and pressure from the pair.
This wasn't to protect minority contracts. In fact, they ran some of them out of work.
He was larger than life. He lived the high life. He hosted lavish parties. He accepted cash tributes. He loaded the city payroll with family and friends.
He had an affair with his chief of staff, lied about it, and went to jail for perjury.
The defense wants me to acknowledge his accomplishments as mayor. [But] that is what he was he elected to do.
The government has asked for a sentence of 28 years. I believe this is in fact what his sentence should be.
Kilpatrick is likely to serve out his sentence in Texas, where he moved during his appeals process.