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Former Detroit Mayor Kilpatrick Sentenced To 28 Years

Former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick on his way into court in March in Detroit.
Regina H. Boone
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MCT /Landov
Former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick on his way into court in March in Detroit.

A federal judge on Thursday sentenced former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, who was once a rising star in the Democratic Party, to 28 years in prison over charges of corruption.

As we've reported, "Kilpatrick has faced a small mountain of charges in recent years and already served some time in prison for other crimes."

The AP reports:

"Kilpatrick, who served as mayor from 2002 until fall 2008, fattened his bank account by tens of thousands of dollars, traveled the country in private planes and even strong-armed his campaign fundraiser for stacks of cash hidden in her bra, according to evidence at trial.

" 'I'm ready to go so the city can move on,' Kilpatrick told the judge. 'The people here are suffering, they're hurting. A great deal of that hurt I accept responsibility for.'

"In March, Kilpatrick, 43, was convicted of racketeering conspiracy, fraud, extortion and tax crimes. The government called it the 'Kilpatrick enterprise,' a years-long scheme to shake down contractors and reward allies. He was doomed by his own text messages, which revealed efforts to fix deals for a pal, Bobby Ferguson, an excavator who got millions of dollars in city work through the water department.

"Contractors said they were forced to take on Ferguson as a partner or risk losing lucrative deals. The government alleged that he in turn shared cash with Kilpatrick."

The Detroit Free Press reports the judge in the case, will recommend Kilpatrick "be sent to a prison in Texas, where his family lives."

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Eyder Peralta is NPR's East Africa correspondent based in Nairobi, Kenya.

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