Today marks the notorious end to the storied career of former politician Kwame Kilpatrick. He was sentenced to 28 years in prison, seven months after he was convicted of public corruption in federal court.
Detroit's youngest elected mayor was once a presidential candidate, and now, at 43, Kilpatrick is generally credited as one of America's worst leaders of the past decade.
Judge Nancy Edmund's sentencing recommendation called for at least 28 years to life for Kilpatrick, who prosecutors say robbed the City of Detroit of millions through criminal enterprises when it was at its most desperate. According to U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade, this is "equal to the longest sentence" for corruption ever handed down to a public official.
The judge noted Kwame Kilpatrick's numerous convictions regarding criminal enterprise which happened throughout his entire six-year tenure as Detroit's mayor. With the enormity of the investigation, 34 other people have been convicted for crimes pertaining to Kilpatrick.
His charges included 24 counts related to bid-rigging, extortion and bribery in his latest trial, which ended in March. Already been in jail three times, Kilpatrick addressed the crowd before the sentence was read, choking up as he struggled to speak. "I respectfully ask for a fair sentence, based on what happened here. I respect the jury's verdict ... I think your honor knows that I disagree with it," he said, according to the Detroit Free Press.
"Kwame Kilpatrick was entrusted by the citizens of Detroit to guide their city through one of its most challenging periods," the prosecution's memo read. "The city desperately needed resolute leadership. Instead it got a mayor looking to cash in on his office through graft, extortion and self-dealing."
Kwame Kilpatrick's wife, Carlita, and their children were not in attendance.
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