DETROIT – Former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick will be released from prison after serving seven years of a 28-year sentence for his role in a major corruption scandal after President Donald Trump commuted his sentence late Tuesday night.
He will be released, but his 24 federal felony convictions will still stand.
Kilpatrick was hoping for a pardon -- a complete dismissal of the conviction as if it had never happened. Instead, he was given clemency, where he can be freed from prison, but his conviction still sticks.
The streets and sidewalks in Downtown Detroit were quiet Wednesday, but there was still a buzz echoing through.
The official executive grant of clemency for the former Detroit mayor was signed by Trump on Jan. 13. The remaining unpaid restitution will still need to be paid.
“It doesn’t surprise me,” said Oakland County prosecutor Karen McDonald. “Most people in the public would agree we want Kwame Kilpatrick to work and generate income so he can start paying his debt back to the city of Detroit.”
Once Kilpatrick is released and starts to earn an income, his wages would be garnished to pay back the nearly $5 million he owes.
“There are several ways to do that,” McDonald said. “Of course, this is a result of a criminal conviction, so this goes to the top of the list in terms of his debts. He also has civil money judgments.
The White House released a statement that said Kilpatrick taught public speaking classes and led bible study groups with his fellow inmates. The full statement can be read below.
Kilpatrick is unable to hold a state or local office until 2033.
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