Former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick has been sentenced to 28 years in prison for corruption that turned city hall into a pay-to-play parlor.
U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds ordered Kilpatrick to pay $100 for each count immediately -- a total of $2,400. She waived his fines due to his "lack of resources." A total restitution amount has yet to be determined.
Edmunds said she will recommend that Kilpatrick spend his prison sentence in Texas, where his family now lives.
Kilpatrick has the right to appeal within 14 days.
“This case is not so much about punishing people for the past, but about shaping our future,” U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade said. “With a message like this, it’s very clear that public officials will be held accountable in the city of Detroit. We hope it will deter people to abuse their public office.”
Before he was sentenced, Kilpatrick said he was sorry, but denied stealing money from the city.
“I just want people to know that I am incredibly remorseful for the conditions of the city and any role, any part I played in it," he said. "The government talked about stealing from the city. Wow ...I've never done that, your Honor."
--Sketch by Jerry Lemenu
Kilpatrick's sentencing was the result of two dozen convictions that ranged from bribery to extortion to tax crimes.
While the city's finances floundered, Kilpatrick was shaking down contractors, ensuring that close pal Bobby Ferguson got millions in city work and turned a nonprofit fund to help struggling Detroiters into a personal slush fund, according to evidence at his five-month trial.
-Kwame Kilpatrick and Bernard Kilpatrick hug in Detroit court. March 11, 2013.
"He created a 'pay-to-play' system for the provision of city goods and services, which compromised vast swaths of city government, including the water and sewer system, the convention center, the pension system, casino developments and recreation centers," prosecutors said in a court filing last week." City government essentially became up for grabs for the right price."
Kilpatrick, 43, quit office in 2008 because of a different scandal involving sexually explicit text messages and an extramarital affair.
--Kwame Kilpatrick and his Former Chief of Staff Christine Beatty
He was forced out while the auto industry was nearing collapse and Detroit's unstable finances were deteriorating even more. The city now is run by a state-appointed emergency manager, Kevyn Orr, who took Detroit into Chapter 9 bankruptcy last summer as a last-ditch effort to fix billions of dollars in debt.