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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