Former Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick dressed wealthy Tuesday with a bow tie and designer glasses as he made his way into federal court for his ongoing corruption trial.
However, if Kilpatrick is being honest with his parole agent, he has little more than the clothes on his back. Anyone who has followed his legal issues knows he owes $850,000 in restitution to the city of Detroit, but apparently he also owes a whopping $53,577 in credit card and student loan debt.
Moreover, Kilpatrick has secret loans of $240,000 from businessman Peter Karmanos, Dan Gilbert, Roger Pensky and James Nicholson. The ex-mayor hasn't paid a penny back.
He also owes various attorneys $650,000. According to his parole reports in October, Kilpatrick had $4.03 in his checking account. In November, he had $231. He did earn $2,500 last month from a speaking engagement.
"So he hasn't allowed the fact that he's broke interfere with his lifestyle," said legal expert Keith Corbett. "I think that is a question that the court, at some point in time, has to address. At what point do you say I am broke but live like a millionaire?"
Corbett, a former federal prosecutor, says for someone without two nickels to rub together Kilpatrick seems to be getting by just fine. He lives in a Texas mansion bigger than Detroit's Manoogian Mansion and flies back and forth to Detroit from Texas more than a dozen times since his trial started this year. He always dresses fancy, too.
Kilpatrick says he uses buddy passes for cheap flights and his wife pays the rent.
Federal investigators accuse him of running a criminal enterprise out of the Detroit mayor's office, forcing contractors to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash bribes and gifts to get work in the city.
"Issue is a lot of that money is unaccounted for. So, the question is where is that money if it exists at all? Does he have access to that money?" said Corbett.