Kilpatrick Verdict: Guilty of Racketeering

Christy Strawser, CBS Detroit, March 11, 2013

The jury has spoken in the federal corruption trial of former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, and they said he’s guilty of the most important charge: racketeering.

Sentencing will happen at a later date, but the conviction carries a possible penalty of up to 20 years in prison. A bond hearing was set for 1:30 p.m. Monday, where the judge will decide whether they go free until sentencing—or go straight to jail.

Kwame Kilpatrick, Bernard Kilpatrick and Bobby Ferguson were hit with more than 30 charges of federal mail and tax fraud, extortion, bribery and racketeering—with Kilpatrick convicted of 24 charges. {snip}


The attorneys for Kilpatrick and his co-defendants Bobby Ferguson and Kwame Kilpatrick’s father Bernard Kilpatrick oversaw nearly 70 days of testimony from witnesses ranging from business owners to former associates who claimed the former mayor and his closest allies used his office as a for-profit enterprise benefitting only themselves.

Included were allegations that Cobo Hall contractor Karl Kado knew he had to deliver $10,000 cash to the mayor’s office anytime he got a call from Kilpatrick asking him to stop by. Another businessman seeking City Hall contracts said he got no interest from the Kilpatrick Administration until he paid $4,800 to get the mayor’s suits out of layaway—and was then invited to bid on a contract.

But there was a catch, he testified, because he soon learned Kilpatrick’s longtime best friend Bobby Ferguson had to be included as a subcontractor for him to win any work.

Prosecutor Michael Bullotta also highlighted testimony from former Kilpatrick pal Derrick Miller and fundraiser and family friend Emma Bell, who both laid out a system of kickbacks and bribes they said they had to follow when Kilpatrick was in office. Testimony detailed cash delivered in a vacuum cleaner bag, taken from shoes, stored in Bell’s bra and delivered in the bathroom of a local Chinese restaurant, among other oddballs.


Bernard Kilpatrick was part of the mix, some testified, saying they had to pay him, too, to keep working in Detroit. The FBI secretly taped contractor James Rosendall meeting with Bernard Kilpatrick and getting berated by the former mayor’s father for delivering cash in a public parking lot.


Prosecutors said Ferguson made more than $80 million while Kilpatrick was in office with schemes hatched between himself and the mayor, showing stacks and stacks of cash he had hidden in his home and office.

Ferguson’s defense Gerald Evelyn seemed on the verge of tears in open court as he invoked Martin Luther King Jr., describing Ferguson as a hard-working minority businessman who employed Detroiters.


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  • bubo

    I just wish he would be punished in a third world fashion and be done away with forever. Unfortunately he will get out of prison and resurface somewhere and the blacks will vote for him.

    • Son of Abraham

      “Unfortunately he will get out of prison and resurface somewhere and the blacks will vote for him.”
      I can see it all now. Marion Barry and Kwami Kilpatrick on the same ticket for president and vice president of the United Black States of America.

      • StillModerated

        Untied Black Snakes of AmeriKwa

    • aj

      Blacks are not offended by corrupt politicians. To them stealing tax payer dollars is a victimless crime because in their minds the government has infinite money and can always just simply printed off more willy nilly if times get tough.

  • Tom Iron

    This is a meaningless conviction. Blacks live only for three squres a day, a roof over their head and a cot. He’s got what they all want.

    • IstvanIN

      ….and a warm hole, don’t forget that!

      • The__Bobster

        Don’t forget the good shoes and a warm place to go to the bathroom.

      • bigone4u

        But will His Honor be the pitcher or the catcher, or both?

        • IstvanIN

          I only feel sorry for the poor White guy who has to bunk with him.

    • StillModerated

      Loose shoes, tight @$$, and a warm place to drop a deuce. Black early retirement.

  • GeneticsareDestiny

    Yet another example of Africans bringing Africa with them, wherever they go.

  • He has already been in and out of prison, and now he’s going back. America’s first hip hop mayor is like many good hip hoppers, doing life on the installment plan.

  • Some Guy

    Do I foresee a slap on someone’s wrist in the near future? I think so, as in house arrest and probation. God forbid he pays the money back, dat be rayciss!

    • The__Bobster

      Where would he get the money? They spend it as fast as they steal it.

      • Some Guy

        20 years hard labor in a coal mine would do the trick.

    • Michael_C_Scott

      This case is federal, and the feds can’t do that for any sentence longer than one year. For sentences of up to a year, the most lenient they can do is a split sentence, with six months in a camp and the other six under house arrest (think Martha Stewart).

  • The__Bobster

    And people wonder why chocolate cites are money pits?

  • bigone4u

    Was His Honor the Mayor convicted by an all black or majority black jury? Whoever the jurors were they deserve credit for doing their duty, unlike the pigs who served on the OJ jury.

    • This was a Federal case, so the jury was Federal. According to this map:

      Federal juries that serve the Federal court house at Detroit can be drawn from jury pools from residents of a nine-county area in southeastern Michigan. Colored orange on this map. Therefore, this Federal jury that heard this case was whiter than a state jury that would hear a state case for the jurisdiction of Wayne County (Detroit).

      This is one of the unspoken reasons why a lot of ghetto crimes are quietly being Federalized.

      • bigone4u

        Thanks. I didn’t know that and I’ll bet lots of others didn’t either.

      • 48224

        On local Detroit news (Fox 2) they were celebrating how “diverse” the jury was and how race didn’t matter. LOL Kwame’s lawyers cried and cried for more black jurors…mentioned Martin Luther King in closing arguments…then they claim on the news that race didn’t matter. Pretty funny. Had the jury been all black they MIGHT have found him guilty of spitting on the sidewalk.

  • brengunn

    Why aren’t the Feds investigating other family members who are also in politics but are yet to be indicted. Surely, their corruption isn’t entirely masculine.

    • Michael_C_Scott

      They probably are. Kwame’s wife certainly seems dirty.

  • I hate to ever a be a person that says “There ought to be a law….”

    But if you illegally enrich yourself via the citizens while in your job of protecting the public good and citizens, you should never be allowed to hold another public office again, barred from holding political office, barred from government employment.

    Why did Kwame move to Texas …. in the middle of a trial?

    To try to get a fresh start in politics?
    Or because that’s where his bags of cocaine came in?

  • William

    The fact is that he is hardly the only politician who has been indicted on corruption charges. Many White politicians have behaved in a simialr manner.

  • Michael_C_Scott

    Kilpatrick was only released for his last bit 23 months ago. That was quick, Kwame! This coming July, I’ll have been out ten years.

    He’s not done yet, either; there’s still an ongoing murder investigation in the shooting death of a prostitute who apparently knew too much.