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Tag: Kwame Kilpatrick

Former Detroit Mayor Gets 28 Years in Prison for Racketeering Scheme

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick was sentenced to 28 years in prison for running a complex racketeering scheme out of city hall.

The sentence is one of the stiffest ever leveled against a corrupt politician.

U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds said she wanted to send a clear message that corruption would not be tolerated.

Kilpatrick extorted bribes from contractors and steered at least $127 million in contracts to his friend and business partner, Bobby Ferguson, who is to be sentenced today.

Kilpatrick said he “really messed up” and was “extremely remorseful.”

Joint Task Force Nabs 7 Detroit Building Inspectors in Alleged Bribery Scandal

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

After high-profile corruption cases against Detroit officials, including ex-Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, a joint task force that includes the FBI announced charges Thursday against seven building inspectors accused of accepting bribes for phony inspections, the Detroit News reports.

The charges stem from an FBI probe dating as far back as 2007.

According to authorities, the scheme involved seven inspectors who accepted bribes to forge building inspections and even covered up potentially dangerous code violations.

“When you violate the public’s trust, it’s a big deal,” Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette said. “When you endanger lives and families, it’s a big deal. You can’t close your eyes to it.”

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Robert Foley, Head of FBI’s Detroit Office, is Stepping Down Because of Family Illness

Robert Foley/fbi photo

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Detroit’s FBI Special Agent in Charge Robert Foley, whose family home was custom built in the Motor City when he took the job nearly a year ago, told the Detroit Free Press today that he is stepping down.

But the East Coast native isn’t leaving the FBI; he’s taking a job fighting public corruption in Florida, the Free Press reported.

Foley, whose career with the FBI spans 17 years, said his move was prompted by a recent health issue in his family. He said he’s moving to Florida because he has a lot of family support there.

“I fell in love with the people, their worth ethic, their strength,” Foley told the Free Press of Detroiters. “Despite the many challenging economic issues here … Detroit will turn around. It’s a place full of hope, inspiration and hard work that will get it to turn around.”

Detroit’s U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade Knew Feds Would Be Subject to Some Ridicule in Hoffa Dig

Featured_mcquade3_6597U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade
By Allan Lengel
Deadline Detroit

DETROIT — Things haven’t been dull for Barbara McQuade.

Right after being sworn in as the Detroit U.S. Attorney in January 2010, she started dealing with the “Underwear Bomber” case involving Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, who tried to detonate an explosive aboard a Detroit-bound plane on Christmas day.

Later that year, her office indicted ex-Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick.

This year, her staff scored a major victory, convicting Kilpatrick, his buddy Bobby Ferguson and his dad Bernard Kilpatrick.  She was involved in the decision that lead to the FBI digging for Jimmy Hoffa in June. And her prosecutors continue to investigate corruption in Wayne County government.

In a wide-ranging interview, McQuade, who has been a prosecutor in the office for 15 years,  sat down with Deadline Detroit to talk about public corruption, terrorism,  Hezbollah’s links to Metro Detroit,  Kwame Kilpatrick’s upcoming sentencing, the Hoffa mystery, the credibility of ex-mobster Tony Zerilli who provided the latest tip as to Hoffa’s whereabouts, and what went into the decision to dig for the legendary union leader recently in Oakland Township.

“We knew there’d be some ridicule, like ‘Oh my gosh, they’re digging for Hoffa again,” she says.

The following interview was condensed and the questions were edited for clarity.

DD: Can we expect more indictments out of City Hall?

McQuade: I don’t know about city hall per se. I guess I wouldn’t want to comment on that. The pension fund case is pending and we’ll go to trial early part of next year. It’s no secret that we’re currently investigating Wayne County government because that has all been very public despite our efforts to do our best make sure we protect the integrity of people involved in that investigation. I think there have been six defendants convicted to date in that investigation.

DD: I noticed in the paper that former U.S. Attorney Jeff Collins, who works for Bob Ficano, has asked you for a letter for Ficano saying he’s not a target of the investigation. Apparently he’s not gotten one. Is there a reason not to issue a letter?

McQuade: I don’t want to comment on that other than we are investigating all aspects of Wayne County and we don’t know yet where the evidence may lead us. So people should not infer anything positive or negative from that.

DD:  It’s unusual for a federal judge to detain a defendant in a white collar case before sentencing. Were you surprised Judge Nancy Edmunds detained Kwame Kilpatrick?

McQuade: We thought we had a reasonable chance of that outcome.  I don’t know I expected that outcome. I wasn’t stunned in light of the history he had in the state court with flouting court orders.

DD: Have you seen that before in a white collar case?

McQuade: From time to time people get detained in white collar cases. I agree with you that it is more rare. There was no argument that he was a danger to the community and more often, those are the kind of defendants who get detained.  This was more along the lines of risk of flight and a history of not complying with court orders.

DD: How involved was the Justice Department with the Kwame case and how worried were they about pulling the trigger and indicting?

McQuade: Not much at all.  The Justice Department does get involved in certain kinds of cases with national implications. For example, the Abdulatalab case (Underwear Bomber), which was an international terrorism case. They were very involved in that and wanted to be kept apprised at every step of the way and we needed approval from them every step of the way.  The Kilpatrick case much less so. Really we were notifying them of significant events in that case.  But other than that, they really let us run that case on our own.

Featured_22_33_49_874_bernard_kilpatrickBernard Kilpatrick

DD: You indicted Bernard Kilpatrick, Kwame’s dad, who worked as a business consultant for city contractors. I know prosecutors sometimes worry the jury might be more sympathetic when they see a family unit on trial.  Was that something that was debated?

McQuade: I guess I don’t want to talk about specifics of what we debated. But you’re absolutely right that those are always the kinds of things that you think about: How does this affect the jury’s perception of the case? Are we overreaching in any way? But we felt very strongly about charging Bernard Kilpatrick because we thought the evidence against him was very strong. Ultimately, the jury was hung on him with respect to RICO charges but did convict him of the tax charges. There was wire tap evidence, video evidence, that we thought was very strong that (showed) he was just not a participant but a leader in this activity.

DD: Do you think in his case or others the laws involving lobbying and consulting are too vague?

McQuade: Well, sometimes the lines are unclear about what is permitted and what is not permitted. But the evidence we thought in this case was very strong that there was no gray matter, that this was misconduct. But as I said, reasonable minds can disagree.

DD: A lot of people were happy to see the indictment, but some supporters of his  wondered if it was racially motivated. Did you feel pressure if he walked that it would bolster his cries of racism?

McQuade: I wasn’t worried about it. Defendants always have some argument about why they’re being unfairly targeted.  That’s a fairly common tactic. Certainly it was an important case for the city of Detroit. And so we did feel strongly and had great hopes the jury would see it our way and convict him.  If he had not been held accountable I think it would have sent a terrible message to the entire city of Detroit and the entire community.

To read full interview click here.

Detroit U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade: We Expected Some Ridicule From the Dig For Jimmy Hoffa

Featured_mcquade3_6597U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade

By Allan Lengel
Deadline Detroit

DETROIT — Things haven’t been dull for Barbara McQuade.

Right after being sworn in as the Detroit U.S. Attorney in January 2010, she started dealing with the “Underwear Bomber” case involving Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, who tried to detonate an explosive aboard a Detroit-bound plane on Christmas day.

Later that year, her office indicted ex-Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick.

This year, her staff scored a major victory, convicting Kilpatrick, his buddy Bobby Ferguson and his dad Bernard Kilpatrick.  She was involved in the decision that lead to the FBI digging for Jimmy Hoffa in June. And her prosecutors continue to investigate corruption in Wayne County government.

In a wide-ranging interview, McQuade, who has been a prosecutor in the office for 15 years,  sat down with Deadline Detroit to talk about public corruption, terrorism,  Hezbollah’s links to Metro Detroit,  Kwame Kilpatrick’s upcoming sentencing, the Hoffa mystery, the credibility of ex-mobster Tony Zerilli who provided the latest tip as to Hoffa’s whereabouts, and what went into the decision to dig for the legendary union leader recently in Oakland Township.

“We knew there’d be some ridicule, like ‘Oh my gosh, they’re digging for Hoffa again,” she says.

The following interview was condensed and the questions were edited for clarity.

DD: Can we expect more indictments out of City Hall?

McQuade: I don’t know about city hall per se. I guess I wouldn’t want to comment on that. The pension fund case is pending and we’ll go to trial early part of next year. It’s no secret that we’re currently investigating Wayne County government because that has all been very public despite our efforts to do our best make sure we protect the integrity of people involved in that investigation. I think there have been six defendants convicted to date in that investigation.

DD: I noticed in the paper that former U.S. Attorney Jeff Collins, who works for Bob Ficano, has asked you for a letter for Ficano saying he’s not a target of the investigation. Apparently he’s not gotten one. Is there a reason not to issue a letter?

McQuade: I don’t want to comment on that other than we are investigating all aspects of Wayne County and we don’t know yet where the evidence may lead us. So people should not infer anything positive or negative from that.

DD:  It’s unusual for a federal judge to detain a defendant in a white collar case before sentencing. Were you surprised Judge Nancy Edmunds detained Kwame Kilpatrick?

McQuade: We thought we had a reasonable chance of that outcome.  I don’t know I expected that outcome. I wasn’t stunned in light of the history he had in the state court with flouting court orders.

DD: Have you seen that before in a white collar case?

McQuade: From time to time people get detained in white collar cases. I agree with you that it is more rare. There was no argument that he was a danger to the community and more often, those are the kind of defendants who get detained.  This was more along the lines of risk of flight and a history of not complying with court orders.

DD: How involved was the Justice Department with the Kwame case and how worried were they about pulling the trigger and indicting?

McQuade: Not much at all.  The Justice Department does get involved in certain kinds of cases with national implications. For example, the Abdulatalab case (Underwear Bomber), which was an international terrorism case. They were very involved in that and wanted to be kept apprised at every step of the way and we needed approval from them every step of the way.  The Kilpatrick case much less so. Really we were notifying them of significant events in that case.  But other than that, they really let us run that case on our own.

Featured_22_33_49_874_bernard_kilpatrickBernard Kilpatrick

DD: You indicted Bernard Kilpatrick, Kwame’s dad, who worked as a business consultant for city contractors. I know prosecutors sometimes worry the jury might be more sympathetic when they see a family unit on trial.  Was that something that was debated?

McQuade: I guess I don’t want to talk about specifics of what we debated. But you’re absolutely right that those are always the kinds of things that you think about: How does this affect the jury’s perception of the case? Are we overreaching in any way? But we felt very strongly about charging Bernard Kilpatrick because we thought the evidence against him was very strong. Ultimately, the jury was hung on him with respect to RICO charges but did convict him of the tax charges. There was wire tap evidence, video evidence, that we thought was very strong that (showed) he was just not a participant but a leader in this activity.

DD: Do you think in his case or others the laws involving lobbying and consulting are too vague?

McQuade: Well, sometimes the lines are unclear about what is permitted and what is not permitted. But the evidence we thought in this case was very strong that there was no gray matter, that this was misconduct. But as I said, reasonable minds can disagree.

DD: A lot of people were happy to see the indictment, but some supporters of his  wondered if it was racially motivated. Did you feel pressure if he walked that it would bolster his cries of racism?

McQuade: I wasn’t worried about it. Defendants always have some argument about why they’re being unfairly targeted.  That’s a fairly common tactic. Certainly it was an important case for the city of Detroit. And so we did feel strongly and had great hopes the jury would see it our way and convict him.  If he had not been held accountable I think it would have sent a terrible message to the entire city of Detroit and the entire community.

To read full interview click here.

Ex-Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick Walks Into Court Handcuffed, Leaves With New Attorney

Ex-Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick/official photo

By Allan Lengel
Deadline Detroit

DETROIT — Ex-Detroit Mayor  Kwame Kilpatrick, clad in a tan, khaki prison outfit, entered the federal courtroom in handcuffs and with a smile Thursday morning. He left about 40 minutes later, escorted in handcuffs and with a new court appointed attorney.

Kilpatrick, who was uncuffed during the proceedings, appeared before U.S. District Judge Nancy G. Edmunds to ask to fire attorney James Thomas.

Edmunds agreed and appointed veteran attorney Harold Gurewitz, a former federal prosecutor who had assisted part time in Killpatrick’s defense during trial. Kilpatrick complained that Thomas hadn’t assisted him in motions and hadn’t represented him well during trial.

“I like Harold,” Kilpatrick said, standing at the podium, Gurewitz and Thomas by his side.

It was Kilpatrick’s first court appearance since being convicted March 11 of 24 public corruption and tax counts in one of the sadder Detroit tales in recent years involving a high-profile figure. He’s been in prison in Milan ever since, awaiting sentencing, just like his co-defendant Bobby Ferguson.

His father Bernard Kilpatrick, who was convicted of tax counts in the trial, sat in the gallery. He is the only one of three defendants free pending sentencing.

To read more click here.

 

Ex-Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick Seriously Injures Knee Getting into U.S. Marshals Van

Ex-Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick/official photo

By Allan Lengel
Deadline Detroit

DETROIT — A new motion filed on behalf of convicted felon Kwame Kilpatrick indicates that he thinks he has plenty appealable issues and is innocent of the 24 criminal counts he was convicted of in March.

It also talks about how he damaged his knee while getting into a U.S. Marshals van.

The motion filed Monday in U.S. District Court by attorney James Thomas, asks the judge for the third time to let Kilpatrick go free pending sentencing. His request the previous two times was rejected, and he’s likely to have a hard time convincing U.S. District Judge Nancy G. Edminds to change her mind this time around.

Thomas writes that Kilpatrick has been preliminarily diagnosed with a torn Anterior Ligament (ACL).

In the motion he states:

This injury occurred just after the verdict in this case on March 11, 2013. While Defendant Kilpatrick was exiting the federal building, chained and bound (hands and feet), he slipped on the rain soaked steel step of the Federal Marshal Van, being provided for transport to the Federal Detention Center at Milan, Michigan. After receiving no care for more than a week at the Detention facility,and experiencing tremendous swelling of the knee, the Court convened a meeting of the federal marshals and Detention Center Staff.

To read more click here.

FBI Agent Opens Up About Ex-Detroit Mayor Kilpatrick’s Public Corruption Trial

Kwame Kilpatrick/deadline detroit

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI opened its investigation of former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick more than 8 years ago after getting a variety of tips, the leader investigator on the case told WXYZ Channel 7 reports.

Channel 7 interviewed FBI Special Agent Bob Beeckman about an investigation that included some 70 agents, 1,000 witnesses and 40,000 text messages.

“If you have public officials that betray the trust of citizens, the whole fabric of society comes apart,” Beeckman told Channel 7.

The prosecution tallied more than 30 guilty convictions against Kilaptrick, his father and contractor Bobby Ferguson in the public corruption case two weeks ago.

Beekman said the most damning evidence was probably the text messages that revealed a lot about the former mayor’s administration.