Ex-Detroit Mayor Convicted of Corruption

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
March 11 2013 1:37 PM

Ex-Detroit Mayor Convicted of Corruption

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Former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick

Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images

Former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick now faces up to 20 years in prison after a jury found him guilty on 22 of 30 corruption charges Monday. Kilpatrick, according to prosecutors, ran a "private profit machine" as an elected official in Detroit, where at 31 he was the youngest mayor in the city's history.

He spent hundreds of thousands of dollars beyond his mayoral salary and was accused of threatening business owners with the loss of city contracts if they didn't hire co-defendant Bobby Ferguson's excavation company, according to the Associated Press. Kilpatrick was also accused of using the Civic Fund (his charity, which was supposed to assist impoverished Detroit residents) to pay for yoga lessons, golf clubs, and more.

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Jurors handed down a guilty verdict on the most serious charges he faced, racketeering and extortion. Kilpatrick resigned as mayor in 2008 in the midst of another scandal—he pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice charges after lying about an affair with his former chief of staff.

Abby Ohlheiser is a Slate contributor.

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