Corruption trial for Kwame Kilpatrick has begun
Ex-Detroit mayor is being charged with extortion, bribery, fraud, false tax returns, tax evasion, and racketeering conspiracy.
BY LAURA CLARK, News Editor
Former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick is standing trial for corruption charges that could land him in jail for over ten years.
Kilpatrick, whose opening statements began Friday, September 21, is being charged with extortion, bribery, fraud, false tax returns, tax evasion, and racketeering conspiracy.
The court hearings were set to be held in Detroit after a request by defense attorneys was denied by U.S. district Court Judge Nancy Edmunds to move them to another city.
Kilpatrick denied in a statement that his actions were corrupt. “Was I corrupt? Absolutely not,” he said.
In 2008, Kilpatrick served a 14-month prison sentence for probation violation when he lied under oath about a text message scandal involving more than 14,000 sexual text messages in an extramarital affair between himself and Christine Beatty, his Chief of Staff at the time. In an August 2007 trial, they both denied the charges under oath.
In addition to Kilpatrick standing trial are his father, Bernard Kilpatrick, construction contractor Bobby Ferguson, and the former head of the water and sewage department Victor Mercado. They, as well as Kilpatrick, are being charged for taking bribes. Their trial also began last Friday.
Kilpatrick now lives in Grand Prairie, Texas.