Kwame Kilpatrick, former mayor of Detroit, was convicted of 24 of the 30 counts including: bribery, mail fraud, wire fraud, and filing false tax returns. He is likely to face years in prison after yesterdays verdict that took twelve minutes to read.
The former mayor had already been in jail for a year on perjury charges. The trail lasted for about five months followed by a two week deliberation among 12 jurors who ultimately reached a unanimous decision on 45 of the 50 total charges.
Kwame Kilpatrick is suspected to have spent about $840,000 more than he earned during his tenure. He and his lawyer deny that allegation.
Bobby Ferguson, a friend of Kwame Kilpatrick, was also charged with nine out of 11 counts. Bernard Kilpatrick, Kwame’s 71-year-old father, was charged on one count of tax account. Bobby Ferguson and Kwame Kilpatrick were both remanded to jail without bond on Monday.
Several businesspeople took the stand and told jurors that they were forced to hire Bobby Ferguson as their subcontractor on many occasions. He was referred by the former mayor who suggested they hire Bobby Ferguson if they wanted to win city deals. The convicted contractor is said to have made an estimated $84 million in contracts. One of the businessmen testified to Kwame Kilpatrick racking up $389,000 in travel on his private plane. His father, Bernard Kilpatrick, is accused of taking bribes for city contracts.
The Kilpatrick Civil Fund, Kwame Kilpatricks’s foundation, is in question after accusation of the former mayor taking advantage of non profit benefits and using money for personal amusement including: golf games, yoga classes, and vacations according to The Huffington Post.
Kwame Kilpatrick was involved in a text message sex scandal in 2009 that later led to him pleading guilty on two counts of obstruction of justice.