I read with interest a CBS Detroit article covering the Oct. 10 sentencing of former Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick.
Judge Nancy Edmunds described his crimes as “devastating corruption,” the likes of which she had never seen. Judge Edmunds handed down the longest corruption sentence ever given to a public official. The federal prosecutors asked and received a 28-year sentence for crimes ranging from tax crimes and racketeering to bribery and extortion.
Kilpatrick, who once described himself as being “anointed by God to be mayor,” ran a criminal enterprise stealing millions from the city of Detroit.
Kilpatrick, who served as mayor from 2002 to 2008, was accused by prosecutors of providing fake jobs for family members, giving lavish parties and running pay-to-play schemes and showed little remorse for a bevy of crimes. He created a pay-to-play system for the provision of city goods and services which compromised all aspects of government, including the water and sewage departments.
Federal agents reported Kilpatrick spent $840,000 more than his salary during his tenure as mayor. It was proved that a pal got millions in city work and that the former mayor turned a nonprofit fund to help struggling Detroiters into his own personal slush fund. If these activities are not frightening enough to taxpayers, the city of Detroit is $18 billion in debt!
Recently, city of Pittsburgh police and administration officials have come under grand jury scrutiny. This only serves to remind us that public officials should be scrutinized to guard against the type of behavior we saw in Detroit. Does anyone really believe that this “devastating corruption,” as Judge Edmunds calls it, can’t happen in your hometown?