Former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick says he shouldn't owe money to Detroit
Kilpatrick ordered to pay Detroit $1.6 million in restitution
DETROIT – Former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick doesn't think he owes the city any money for his crimes, according to a court document released Thursday.
Kilpatrick was ordered to pay $1,637,087 in restitution after he was convicted of extortion and bribery in 2013. The judge ruled that the amount was equal to what Kilpatrick gained from the racketeering scheme.
But a court file released Thursday shows that Kilpatrick doesn't believe that he should have to pay Detroit because it's impossible to calculate the amount of money he took from taxpayers. Kilpatrick believes that the amount of restitution should be equivalent to the city's loss, not his own personal gain.
The court file says it would be extremely difficult to accurately predict the exact number.
Kilpatrick is asking the court to reduce or eliminate the restitution order.
"It is, therefore, respectfully suggested that this case now becomes an instance in which the process by which to attempt to determine restitution is too complicated and time consuming to pursue the specter of restitution as part of Mr. Kilpatrick's (28-year) custodial sentence," the document said.
The federal government recommended in November that Kilpatrick's restitution be reduced nearly $3 million, from $4,584,423 to $1,637,087.
At his original sentencing, Kilpatrick was ordered to pay the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department over $4.5 million based on what he collected in a fraud scheme that included kickbacks for Kilpatrick. During a federal appeal in August 2015, it was ordered that Kilpatrick's restitution to DWSD be recalculated.
"The Sixth Circuit held that the restitution calculation was erroneous and should have been based more specifically on DWSD's loss, rather than on Kilpatrick's gain," a court document said. "The consensus among our sister circuits compels us to conclude that a district court may not use the defendant’s gain to approximate the victim’s loss unless the government establishes such a correlation that the defendant’s gain can act as a measure of -- not substitute for -- the victim’s loss."
The court document said a construction management contract for water main replacements in Detroit ordered that the top two bidders would receive the contract. A team from DLZ and Superior Engineering should have been one of the top two bidders, but the bid was thwarted when an official working under the director of the Human Rights Department decertified DLZ.
The worker, Kim Harris, testified that Gerard Grand Phillips, the director of the Human Rights Department, told her that Kilpatrick had given the order for decertification.
Dan Edwards and Darryl Latimer testified that the decertification dropped DLZ/Superior from winning a bid spot and outlined the impact of losing its human rights certification. Ferguson/Lakeshore moved up into the second spot and was awarded the contract.
A memorandum from the Board of Water Commissioners showed that the cost difference between Ferguson/Lakeshore and DLZ/Superior was $1,637,087.50.
"Unlike for several other contracts, the evidence permits the court to calculate DWSD's loss with sufficient precision to order restitution on it," the court document said. "Given the Sixth Circuit's requirement on remand that restitution be based on actual loss proved by the government, the court should reduce Kwame Kilpatrick's restitution to DWSD to $1,637,087."
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