Former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick was found guilty Monday on federal racketeering and other charges following the biggest public corruption probe in the city in decades.
Kilpatrick’s verdict comes after the 12-member jury reportedly spent 15 days and more than 79 hours deliberating.
Prosecutors said Kilpatrick, 42, was an unscrupulous politician who took bribes, rigged contracts and lived far beyond his means while in office until fall 2008.
In addition to the racketeering charge — which carries with it a maximum punishment of 20 years behind bars — Kilpatrick was convicted of extortion, bribery, mail and wire fraud, and tax charges.
The former mayor was also found not guilty on three counts and there was no consensus on three counts.
Kilpatrick’s friend Bobby Ferguson, a city contractor, also was convicted by the jury on racketeering and other charges.
Business owners said they were forced to hire Ferguson as a subcontractor or risk losing city contracts.
Despite the convictions on Kwame and Ferguson, the jury couldn’t reach a verdict on a racketeering conspiracy charge against the former Mayor’s father, Bernard Kilpatrick.
He was acquitted on another tax charge and an attempted extortion charge.
All three men have vigorously denied the charges, saying they never demanded anything of anyone and were committed to helping minority businesses grow.
Following Kwame Kilpatrick trial’s end, Detroit Mayor Dave Bing issued this statement about the verdict:
“I am pleased that this long trial has ended and we can finally put this negative chapter in Detroit’s history behind us. It is time for all of us to move forward with a renewed commitment to transparency and high ethical standards in our City government.”
USA Today reports that Kilpatrick and Ferguson are looking at up to 20 years in prison.
HuffPo Live breaks down the Kwame Kilpatrick corruption trial in more detail in the video below: