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Former Detroit Mayor Should be Jailed for Decades, According to Prosecutors

 former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick

Former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick

Federal prosecutors asked that former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick and his partner Bobby Ferguson be sentenced to 28 years in prison or more for organizing a “historic and unprecedented extortion scheme” from City Hall.

The sentencing memos, authored by four assistant U.S. attorneys for Michigan’s Eastern District, said Ferguson should be sentenced to 14 to 28 years, while Kilpatrick should spend “at least” 28 years in prison for what prosecutors called his “widespread and corrosive breach of trust” during his six years in office.

The sentencing memo for Kilpatrick noted that his crimes while in office exceeded all other state and city corruption cases they surveyed, including former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich, who was sentenced to 14 years in prison for bribery and extortion charges in 2011.

“Kwame Kilpatrick was entrusted by the citizens of Detroit to guide their city through one of its most challenging periods. The city desperately needed resolute leadership. Instead it got a mayor looking to cash in on his office through graft, extortion and self-dealing,” the memo recommending Kilpatrick’s sentence read.

Prosecutors said that Kilpatrick used the mayor’s office to steer $127 million in contracts to Ferguson, a contractor and head of Ferguson Enterprises. Kilpatrick was convicted of 24 charges, including racketeering, extortion, attempted extortion, bribery, mail fraud, wire fraud and filing false tax returns, after a five-month federal trial that concluded in March. Ferguson, who was convicted by a jury of nine out of 11 counts he faced during trial, was said to have extorted at least $73 million worth of contracts and fees during the Kilpatrick administration.

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