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Kwame Kilpatrick to be released -- What’s next for the former Detroit mayor?

Convictions included mail fraud, wire fraud, racketeering, perjury extortion and more

Kwame Kilpatrick to be released -- What’s next for the former Detroit mayor?
Kwame Kilpatrick to be released -- What’s next for the former Detroit mayor?

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.

UPDATE: US releases former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick from prison

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.”

READ: ‘The Kwame Kilpatrick rollercoaster ride’ -- The rise and fall of former Detroit mayor

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.


More: Kwame Kilpatrick section


About the Authors:

Karen Drew is the anchor of Local 4 News First at 4, weekdays at 4 p.m. She is also an award-winning investigative reporter and part of the Local 4 Defenders team.

Dane is a producer and media enthusiast. He previously worked freelance video production and writing jobs in Michigan, Georgia and Massachusetts. Dane graduated from the Specs Howard School of Media Arts.