Surprise: Former Detroit Mayor Headed to Prison

Posted: Oct 10, 2013 3:00 PM

Remember when the mayor of Boston actually suggested that we “blow up” Detroit because of the city’s institutional failures and widespread corruption? Ouch. That was terrible thing for him to say and he quickly apologized. But now the city is making national headlines again. And not in a good way, either.

Meet former mayor Kwame Kilpatrick. As it happens, he’ll be going to prison for a very, very long time. Why, you ask? Because he was tried and convicted of betraying the public’s trust, to put it as politely as possible:

Detroit's former mayor, convicted earlier this year on wide-ranging corruption charges, was sentenced Thursday in U.S. District Court to 28 years in prison.

Prosecutors had asked for at least that long a sentence.

Kwame Kilpatrick, 43, was found guilty March 11 of 24 of 30 counts of corruption, including five counts of extortion, racketeering, bribery and several mail, wire and tax fraud charges. On three counts he was found not guilty, and on the remaining three no verdict was reached.

Kilpatrick's lawyer, Harold Gurewitz, has asked for 15 years. U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds made the final decision.

Wait a second. Didn’t the Obama administration recently travel to Detroit and pledge to give them a boatload of cash? Why yes, yes they did. From a New York Times editorial last month:

Two months after Detroit became the largest city ever to file for bankruptcy, top Obama administration officials will be there on Friday to propose nearly $300 million in combined federal and private aid toward a Motown comeback — only a fraction of the billions the city owes and a reflection of the budget and political limits on President Obama.

This first major infusion from the federal government, which administration officials say will not be the last, would be used to help clear and redevelop blighted properties, improve transportation systems, bolster the police — especially around schools — and overhaul city management systems wrecked by years of poor administration and inadequate resources.

The package follows weeks of meetings in Detroit and at the White House between the administration team and local business, labor and philanthropic leaders on how best to pool existing resources. Final details are to be worked out in a two-hour meeting of the federal and local officials at Wayne State University, participants said.

How much of that money will be wasted, I wonder? It’s a fair question to ask given Mr. Kilpatrick’s less-than-laudable public service record, no? Plus, attempting to “fix” a city utterly devastated by progressive policies with more federal “stimulus” seems like a recipe for disaster. Question: How much money do you think will actually be spent on public schools, housing projects, transportation systems and the like when these funds are fully appropriated? Exactly. If this program is anything like the president's stimulus package, expect it to be a resounding failure.

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