Detroit Mayor Duggan on Kwame Kilpatrick’s commutation: ‘This is a decision President Trump got right’

Duggan supports Trump’s decision to commute Kilpatrick’s federal prison sentence

FILE - In this March 11, 2013, file photo, former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick leaves federal court after being convicted in Detroit, of corruption charges. Rev. Keyon Payton, A Michigan pastor, says Kilpatrick is being quarantined at a federal prison while awaiting a likely release in June, years before he's scheduled to finish a 28-year sentence for corruption. The U.S. Bureau of Prisons declined to comment about Kilpatrick, saying only that he remains in custody at the prison in Oakdale, La. (David Coates/Detroit News via AP, File) (David Coates)

DETROIT – Current Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan supports President Trump’s decision to commute former Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick’s prison sentence.

Kilpatrick has served seven years of a 28-year federal prison sentence for a long list of charges including racketeering and bribery. Trump commuted his sentence late Tuesday night, his final night in the White House.

Duggan released a statement Wednesday morning calling Kilpatrick a talented person with “much to contribute.”

“Kwame Kilpatrick is a person of great talent who still has much to contribute,” Duggan tweeted. “I know how close he is to his three sons and I could not be happier for them being together again. This is a decision President Trump got right.”

Duggan announced his run for re-election in 2021 this past December. He has been in office since 2013. He won re-election in 2017, meaning this would be his third term if elected.

When there was news of Kilpatrick’s possible release back in May 2020, Duggan expressed his support for the former mayor.

“I think he’s one of the most extraordinarily talented people I’ve ever met. I think he has a lot to contribute and if, in fact, the reports are true. I’ll be doing everything I can to help him get a fresh start,” Duggan said at the time.

Detroit is holding general elections for mayor, city council, clerk, and board of police commissioners on Nov. 2, 2021. A primary is scheduled for Aug. 3, 2021. The filing deadline for this election is April 20, 2021.

Here’s the original Kilpatrick commutation statement from the White House:

“President Trump commuted the sentence of the former Mayor of Detroit, Kwame Malik Kilpatrick. This commutation is strongly supported by prominent members of the Detroit community, Alveda King, Alice Johnson, Diamond and Silk, Pastor Paula White, Peter Karmanos, Rep. Sherry Gay-Dagnogo of the Michigan House of Representatives, Rep. Karen Whitsett of the Michigan House of Representatives, and more than 30 faith leaders. Mr. Kilpatrick has served approximately 7 years in prison for his role in a racketeering and bribery scheme while he held public office. During his incarceration, Mr. Kilpatrick has taught public speaking classes and has led Bible Study groups with his fellow inmates.”

Trump White House

A commutation simply reduces the sentence of a prisoner, whereas a pardon wipes away the crime.

U.S. Attorney Matthew Schneider was definitely not in support of a shortened sentence or pardon for Kilpatrick.

“My position on the disgraced former Mayor of Detroit has not changed. Kwame Kilpatrick has earned every day he served in federal prison for the horrible crimes he committed against the People of Detroit. He is a notorious and unrepentant criminal,” reads a statement from Schneider. “He remains convicted of 24 felonies. Kilpatrick has served only one quarter of the sentence that was very appropriately imposed. Thankfully, under Michigan law, he cannot hold state or local public office for 20 years after his conviction.”

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About the Author:

Dave Bartkowiak Jr. is the digital managing editor for ClickOnDetroit.