Ex-Mayor Kilpatrick Facing Probation Violations, More Jail Time

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Former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick is headed to prison, after a judge’s ruling last month that he violated some of the conditions of his probation.

Wayne County Circuit Judge David said today that the embattled former mayor will get credit for 120 days served, but will spend a minimum of a year and a half, and up to five years, in prison.

Kilpatrick resigned from his mayoral post in 2008 as part of an agreement with prosecutors, after facing ten counts of perjury and obstruction of justice. Kilpatrick and his former aide, Christine Beatty, had both testified during a whistle-blower trial that they had not been romantically involved but later, excerpts from over 14,000 romantic and sexually explicit text messages the pair exchanged were leaked to the press.

The plea deal, in which the mayor pleaded guilty to two felony counts of obstruction to justice, required Kilpatrick to resign from his post, give up his law license, and stay out of politics for five years. He was also required to repay the city $1 million, and served 99 days in jail.

After being released from jail, in February 2009, Kilpatrick began working for the medical software company Covisint, a subsidiary of Detroit-based Compuware, as a sales rep. He has been making $3,000 payments each month to the city of Detroit as restitution, but prosecutors say that he has been hiding assets and failing to disclose loans, tax refunds and cash gifts.

Groner ruled last month that these omissions constitute a violation of Kilpatrick’s probation. He found that the former mayor had received $240,000 in loans from prominent businessmen, as well as $23,400 in tax refunds.

Kilpatrick has paid $139,223 of the $1 million restitution to date. His defense attorneys argued that sending him back to jail would impede his employment, and therefore his ability to repay the city; attorney Michael Alan Schwartz also said that Kilpatrick would be able to repay the entire amount of restitution within two years if remains out of jail. Prosecutors, however, argue that failure to abide by the conditions of probation should be punished—with two to three years in state prison.

Kilpatrick’s term as mayor was haunted by various scandals and allegations of wrongdoing. He has been accused of abusing his power; giving preferential treatment to friends and family when making city appointments; assaulting a police officer; corruption involving contracts and kickbacks; funneling state grant money to his wife; slandering the police chief, Ella Bully-Cummings; using civic funds to pay for a family vacation; and even having a hand in the slaying of an exotic dancer with whom his wife had once gotten into an altercation.

 

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