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article imageDetroit’s Ex-Mayor Jailed For Four Months

By Sadiq Green     Oct 29, 2008 in Crime
Tuesday a judge sentenced former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick to four months in jail. The punishment was part of a plea agreement worked out with prosecutors last month.

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Kwame Kilpatrick admitted to lying during his testimony last year in a civil lawsuit filed by former police officers who accused him of illegally demoting or firing them. The former mayor and his Chief of Staff Christine Beatty, were accused of having an affair and denied it, however text messages obtained by a lawyer in the case clearly contradicted them. The two officials used their city pagers to arrange trysts and share sexually explicit desires. The sexually explicit messages were first publicly disclosed last January by the Detroit Free Press.
Beatty quickly resigned, but Kilpatrick hung on as mayor, even when prosecutors filed criminal charges against them in March. Beatty has turned down a plea deal and will go to trial in January. A new batch of messages were released last week, revealing that Kilpatrick, married with three children, likely had other lovers.
Wayne County Circuit Judge David Groner called Kilpatrick “arrogant and defiant” and questioned the sincerity of a guilty plea that ended his career at City Hall. Groner followed that deal but said Kilpatrick would not get time off for good behavior, potentially up to 20 days in this case. “When someone gets 120 days in jail, they should get 120 days in jail,” Groner said. Kilpatrick was then taken across the street to the county jail, where he will spend 23 hours a day in a private cell.
The sentencing was Kilpatrick’s first public forum since a speech to supporters after he pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice September 4th. In that address, he lashed out at Governor Jennifer Granholm, who was holding hearings to remove him from office, and told Detroit, “You done set me up for a comeback.”, among other things.
Kilpatrick declined to speak in court, but his lawyers urged the judge to look at his entire career, not just the crimes that threw local government into disarray for months.
The judge said he was shocked by the comments. Groner stated, “That night the community expected to hear a message of humility, remorse and apology. Instead, we heard an arrogant and defiant man who accused the governor, among others, for his downfall.” Groner told Kilpatrick that he misled the City Council into settling the police officers’ lawsuits for $8.4 million, in an attempt to protect his political career. The judge said, “At a time when this city needed transparency, accountability and responsibility, you exhibited hubris and privilege at the expense of the city.”
Kilpatrick also was given a 120-day concurrent sentence for assaulting a sheriff’s officer who was trying to deliver a subpoena in July. In addition to the jail time, Kilpatrick will be on probation for five years and must pay the city $1 million in restitution by the end of that period. He made a down payment of $20,000 Tuesday. He also signed a revocation of his law license.
Through spring and summer, Kilpatrick hired lawyers and image specialists and publicly ridiculed the case against him. Finally, he agreed to plead guilty and resign only after Granholm began the public hearing in September that could have led to his ouster.
More about Kilpatrick, Guilty plea, Sentenced
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