SEPTEMBER 04, 2008
A major U.S. city will finally get rid of its criminally corrupt thug of a mayor whose felonious antics have cost taxpayers millions of dollars and brought shame to the long ailing municipality.
Facing an embarrassing criminal trial and nearly a dozen felony charges, Detroit’s scandal-plagued mayor, Kwame Kilpatrick, finally admitted he’s a felon for obstructing justice by lying under oath at a whistleblower trial. Up until today, the self-described “Hip Hop Mayor” had denied any wrongdoing and ignored calls to resign.
With detrimental evidence mounting against him by the day and facing removal by Michigan’s governor, Kilpatrick evidently decided to admit some of his crimes in order to avoid the much larger prison sentence attached to a jury conviction on the additional counts. He will serve four months in jail, five years probation, pay $1 million in restitution and turn over his state pension to the city of Detroit. During his five-year probation period the disgraced lawmaker, who is the son of Michigan Congresswoman Carolyn Cheeks, will not run for office.
The once rising star in Michigan’s Democratic circles has been much like a ripe volcano on the verge of eruption since taking office in 2002. He spent a great part of his first tenure partying with strippers at the mayor’s mansion and got busted for charging hundreds of thousands of dollars on his city-issued credit card for personal travel, meals and entertainment. He also used $25,000 of city funds to get his wife a fancy sports utility vehicle at a time when Detroit was in a deep financial crisis and thousands of city jobs were being cut.
Then Kilpatrick lied under oath at a police whistleblower trial to hide an extramarital affair with a city staffer. The cops had been wrongfully fired for asking questions that could have exposed the undercover romance and Kilpatrick ended up orchestrating a secret city deal to pay the officers nearly $9 million for their troubles. Details of the scandalous settlement were only made public after a local newspaper filed a public records lawsuit.
The self-destructive politician subsequently got charged with two additional felonies for assaulting a sheriff’s detective trying to serve a subpoena on one of his shady friends. The irate mayor pushed the detective and attacked him and his partner with profanity and racial remarks. Kilpatrick then became the first mayor in Detroit’s 300-plus years to spend the night in a jail cell for violating the bond conditions in his perjury case by traveling to Canada. He capped that by violating the terms of the assault bond when he spent time with a key witness to the incident.
Incredibly, Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama has praised Kilpatrick by calling him a “great mayor” who has done an “outstanding job.” Early in Kilpatrick’s tumultuous administration Obama assured that his friend would do “astounding things for many years to come.” The Hip-Hop mayor with the attention-grabbing diamond stud earring certainly came through.
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