This is not exactly news which ought to surprise anyone but former Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick was convicted of 24 counts of racketeering and extortion and other crimes. He could face 20 years in prison. I'm not jubilant nor am I sad. It's just really disappointing because he was someone who could have done a lot of good for the city of Detroit and maybe even the state of Michigan. Unfortunately, in my opinion, he got caught up in the trappings of power and more interested in how he could enrich his friends, family and business partners than how best to serve the citizens of Detroit. Coming on the heels of a soon to be announced emergency financial manager for the city of Detroit, this conviction doesn't bode well for those who argue that the city can get out of the horrible political and financial situation it finds itself facing.
Kilpatrick's hardly the only black politician to get taken down by the feds and he won't be the last. You would think that corrupt black mayors, representatives, and senators would learn that unlike NY banks and financial institutions, the Justice Department and federal prosecutors, do not in fact, consider them to be too big to jail.
So if you know that the police are constantly following you as you drive down the expressway, even though that might be unfair and irritating, do you obey the speed limit or do you step on the gas, speed up to 90 mph and start weaving in and out of traffic? I know what my answer is. And I know what Kilpatrick's answer is too..
But some people always have to learn things the hard way. A hard head indeed makes for a soft behind.
Former Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick and his longtime friend Bobby Ferguson have just been convicted of racketeering and extortion, marking an end to a more than decade-long public corruption investigation. The three faced a combined 45 charges accusing them of racketeering, extortion, bribery and mail fraud, among other things. Kilpatrick was convicted on 24 of 30 counts, including five counts of extortion, racketeering, bribery and several mail, wire and tax fraud charges. On three counts he was found not guilty and on three there was no verdict reached.
Ferguson was found guilty on nine of 11 counts, including racketeering and several counts of extortion. He was found not guilty on one count and there was no verdict on another. Bernard Kilpatrick was convicted on one of four counts. He was convicted on a tax charge. There was no verdict for Bernard Kilpatrick on the racketeering charge and he was found not guilty on two other charges – attempted extortion and a tax charge.