Kwame Kilpatrick was sentenced to 28 years in prison. The former Detroit mayor was convicted of fraud, extortion, racketeering conspiracy, and numerous tax crimes. The 43-year-old is blamed for contributing to Detroit’s failed economy,
An investigation revealed that the former mayor spent more than $840,000 that he never earned. Prosecutors speculate the money was embezzled from government funds.
As reported by ABC News, the money was used to purchase extravagant vacations, gold accessories, yoga sessions, and camping trips for his children.
Kilpatrick said he received the money from political supporters in the form of gifts. However, prior to the sentencing, he accepted responsibility for his actions:
“I’m ready to go so the city can move on… The people here are suffering, they’re hurting. A great deal of that hurt I accept responsibility for.”
During sentencing, Judge Nancy Edmunds admonished the former city leader:
“A man with the charisma and ability of Mr. Kilpatrick chose to use his talents on personal aggrandizement and enrichment when he had the potential to do so much for the city.”
Judge Edmunds sided with prosecutors, imposing their suggested sentence of 28 years. As reported by USA Today, she recommended he serve his time in a federal prison in Texas.
In 2001, Kilpatrick was elected mayor of Detroit. In 2005, he maintained his position through re-election.
Despite his political achievements, the city leader was criticized for his personal behavior. Critics were suspicious of his lavish lifestyle, extramarital affairs, and wild parties. He was eventually dubbed the “hip-hop mayor.”
In 2008, Kilpatrick was accused of having an affair with chief of staff Christine Beatty. Saved text messages eventually sealed his fate. It was proven that he lied in a sworn statement. The city leader stepped down in 2008 following charges of felony misconduct.
Further investigation revealed Kilpatrick was guilty of far more than a scandalous affair. He was eventually charged with and convicted of numerous counts of felony corruption.
Kwame Kilpatrick will spend the next 28 years in prison for his crimes.