Kwame Kilpatrick (Paul Sancya / AP)
Detroit — Former Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick filed notice he will appeal a 28-year federal prison sentence in the City Hall corruption trial.
The one-paragraph notice was filed by defense lawyer Harold Gurewitz in U.S. District Court late Wednesday but did not cite any basis for the appeal.
The notice was filed almost three weeks after U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds sentenced Kilpatrick and castigated him for living “larger than life” on millions of dollars he stole after creating a “corrosive pay-to-play” system in city hall.
“I hope that the sentence that I’m about to impose will give that message, that we’re demanding accountability and transparency in our government,” Edmunds said. “That where there has been corruption, there will be no more. We are done.”
Ferguson was sentenced to 21 years while Kilpatrick’s father, Bernard Kilpatrick, was sentenced to 15 months.
Kilpatrick will soon elaborate on the basis of his appeal. He could challenge his conviction based on several pretrial rulings regarding jury makeup, pretrial publicity and a judge’s refusal to let the former Detroit mayor fire his attorney on the eve of trial.
He lost an appeal in late August 2012 of U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds’ order denying him access to jury records in hopes of dismissing the City Hall corruption indictment because there weren’t enough blacks in the jury pool.
A three-judge panel ruled Kilpatrick’s appeal was premature but could be reviewed if the former Detroit mayor was convicted.
He set up another possible appeal in August 2012 by trying, at the 11th hour, to fire his taxpayer-funded lawyer, James C. Thomas.
Kilpatrick claimed their relationship was broken because he didn’t trust the attorney and they had shouting matches.
Kilpatrick also set up a potential appeal during the jury-selection process.
Prosecutors used five of their 14 peremptory challenges to remove potential black jurors while the defense used all 28 of their challenges to remove white jurors. The defense team’s fight against losing black jurors could factor into an appeal.
In the end, eight African-Americans were included — five as jurors and three as alternates.
Kilpatrick also tried, unsuccessfully, to move the trial out of Michigan, arguing he couldn’t get a fair trial in Detroit.