By Steve Neavling
DETROIT (Reuters) - Former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick was sentenced by a federal judge on Thursday to 28 years in prison after he was convicted of public corruption including bribery, extortion and racketeering, which prosecutors said had worsened the city's financial crisis.
Kilpatrick, 43, once seen as a rising star in the Democratic Party, has been in custody since March when he was found guilty on two dozen charges.
Judge Nancy Edmunds said Kilpatrick had headed a conspiracy that spent millions of taxpayer dollars, and said his sentence was intended to send a message that corruption would not be tolerated.
"That way of business is over," Edmunds said. "We're done."
Prosecutors said Kilpatrick, who was mayor from 2002 to 2008, extorted bribes from contractors who wanted to get or keep Detroit city contracts.
Edmunds said Kilpatrick had shown no remorse until Thursday and sentenced him to the minimum term prosecutors had sought. Kilpatrick's attorneys had asked for a sentence of no more than 15 years.
Kilpatrick, who told the packed courtroom in a nearly 30 minute address that he was "extremely remorseful," rested his chin on his palm and closed his eyes after Edmunds pronounced the sentence.
(Editing by David Bailey and Cynthia Johnston)