Boy the folks in Motown can’t catch a break. Former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick along with his father Bernard Kilpatrick with two other were indicted on 38 Federal charges including Racketeering, Conspiracy, Fraud, Bribery and Money Laundering. From the Detroit News:
Federal investigators delivered a staggering blow to a once-powerful political family Wednesday, uncovering what they called a criminal enterprise that robbed taxpayers of millions of dollars and instilled a culture of corruption in one of the nation’s poorest cities.
A federal grand jury issued a 38-count federal indictment Wednesday that portrayed Kwame Kilpatrick’s career in public service — from the state House in Lansing to City Hall — as a racketeering conspiracy.
The alleged scheme, which the U.S. Attorney’s Office dubbed the Kilpatrick Enterprise in the 89-page indictment, used a series of deals to extort tens of millions of dollars through contracts funded with taxpayer dollars — money that lined the pockets of his family, pals and cronies.
Kilpatrick headed the enterprise that stretched from his family tree to his friends, the indictment says.
Members of the alleged conspiracy included his father, Bernard Kilpatrick, close friend and city contractor Bobby Ferguson, former Detroit Water and Sewerage Department director Victor Mercado and former aide and close friend Derrick Miller.
The group faces federal charges that include racketeering, extortion, bribery, fraud and tax evasion. The charges are punishable by three to 30 years in prison, if they are convicted.
The indictment caps a six-year federal investigation into City Hall corruption that has netted 15 felony convictions and confirms for many how Kwame Kilpatrick wielded power.
“He tried to make everybody’s life as miserable as possible as if he were the king and (tried to) run everybody out of Detroit who did not come to play,” said Eric Foster, who has provided government and political consulting services in the city for years. “It’s a blessing now to have this fully exposed.”
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A lone gunman was killed by a security guard after holding the Bay County School District Board hostage Tuesday. From Fox News:
Clay Duke was a troubled, broke ex-con with bipolar disorder, an interest in anarchy, a wife whose unemployment benefits had run out and frustrations that reached their boiling point on a day circled on his calendar at home.
The burly 56-year-old held a Florida school board at gunpoint Tuesday, saying he was prepared to die. He fired at board members, missing them by inches, then killed himself after exchanging gunfire with a security guard.
Duke’s wife said Wednesday he was an excellent marksman and probably missed the five board members — sitting steps away — on purpose. One board member even crept up from behind and hit Duke with her purse — but he only called her a name and didn’t shoot.
“He didn’t want anyone to get hurt but himself,” Rebecca Duke said of the man she loved. She called him a “gentle giant.”
“The economy and the world just got the better of him,” she said.
In the moments prior to the shooting, Duke spray painted a circle and a large, red V inside of it on the meeting room wall and muttered about rising taxes and how his wife was fired from the school district. The school superintendent begged Duke not to shoot, but he did.
Prisoners in Iraq made an a startling statement by saying Al Qaeda in Iraq plans terrorist attack on the US and West during the Christmas Holiday. From AP via CBS News:
Iraqi authorities have obtained confessions from captured insurgents who claim al Qaeda is planning suicide attacks in the United States and Europe during the Christmas season, two senior officials said Wednesday.
Iraqi Interior Minister Jawad al-Bolani told The Associated Press that the botched bombing in central Stockholm last weekend was among the alleged plots the insurgents revealed. Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari, in a telephone interview from New York, called the claims “a critical threat.”
Both al-Bolani and Zebari said Iraq has informed Interpol of the alleged plots, and alerted authorities in the U.S. and European countries of the possible danger. Neither official specified which country or countries in Europe are alleged targets.
US officials have not verified the claims. The announcement come nearly a year ago, a Nigerian Man Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab attempted to blow himself up on a transatlantic flight Last Christmas from Amsterdam to Detroit:
There was no way to verify the insurgents’ claims. But Western counterterrorism officials generally are on high alert during the holiday season, especially since last year’s failed attack by Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the so-called underwear bomber, who tried to blow up a Detroit-bound airliner on Christmas Day.
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